So, what about Leupold Mark 5 ?

Dec 10, 2017
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Well, I promised pics, so here are a few. Turns out it’s really difficult to get a good picture through this without a PhoneSkope. First, though, in no way do these pictures represent the clarity of the glass. The resolution is fantastic, and I can see (sharply) blades of grass and the twigs at the ends of the tree branches at over 350 yards (what you see in the picture). I can induce chromatic aberration if I go off center in the eyebox, but when I’m centered up, I have edge to edge clarity of both image and reticle, and I don’t notice any CA.

So the pictures: this is looking out my window. I couldn’t do this outside because it was ridiculously windy, and I couldn’t get the scope or camera to hold still. I took shots of a hillside in full sun with snow, rocks, grass, and a dead tree for lots of contrast and to to induce as much CA as I could. I was looking for detail in highlights and shadows, resolution, contrast, color fidelity, etc.

3.6x:
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6x:
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18x:
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So, side by side with the XRS at 18x, the Mark 5 looked great. It seemed brighter somehow even with its 44mm objective, and the eyebox was much more forgiving. I had to move very slightly behind the XRS to get the edges of the image clear, but with the Leupold, the whole thing looks good at once. The colors are also a bit warmer and more natural with the Leupold, whereas the XRS gives everything a cool tint. The contrast is fantastic as well. I could see detail in the tree bark even though it looked very dark against the snow. The one thing that I thought was better in the XRS was that the picture in the scope seemed larger... I mean, it was the same field of view, but it was like looking at 2 TVs showing the same program, just one was a bit bigger than the other. I’m not sure how to explain that impression, but the Leupold was clearer than the XRS for sure, so I don’t think the “bigger” picture means very much. This was a tough scene and the Leupold handled it a lot better than the pictures indicate. Maybe the camera lens was tilted relative to the scope so the focal planes didn’t line up, or maybe the camera didn’t like the diopter setting for my right eye.

At 3.6x, the Tremor 3 is a bit thin, but it’s easy enough to pick up as you move, even against dark, cluttered backgrounds. I love the way it looks at 18x.

What else... the parallax numbers are not very well calibrated. When I dial out the parallax at 100 yards and slip the knob to be correct at that range, 350 yards actual range corresponds to about 450 on the dial. Even so, it’s easy enough to set the parallax, even with the fairly short travel. Pick whatever range you shoot most often, slip the dial to match, and ignore the numbers for the rest.

I forgot to mention that the stubby throw lever on the power ring is removable, and a plug is included in the box to fill the hole if you want a lower-profile scope. I don’t really see the point of that, though, since the turrets stick out pretty far from the centerline; the turrets aren’t too tall, but the turret housing is gigantic. I tried mounting an Aimpoint H1 on an LT724 offset mount in front of the turrets, and I could only see a sliver of the Aimpoint’s glass with the turrets in the way. I think they’re still lower profile than the XRS, though. I ended up mounting the Aimpoint on a side rail on my handguard.

If the wind lets up tomorrow, I’ll do some shooting!
 
Dec 10, 2017
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Looks like you have CA at 18x TBH. Artifact of the camera?
Yes indeed. Like I said, I can induce it if I move around the eyebox a lot, but centered up, I can’t see any. I couldn’t get it to completely go away with the camera, though. That picture was the best one; all the other ones had horrible purple and yellow mess all over them, hahaha. Trying to do too much with too many lenses, I guess. The scope is optimized for the lens system in your skull, and it seems to work just fine in that context.
 
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Great Pics! Thanks for the write up!
Thanks, and no problem!

Oh, one more thing I forgot to mention: I weighed the scope on a pretty accurate digital scale. Leupold says 26 oz, but I got 25 3/8. With the caps and the 3” sunshade, it’s 28. Considering the Bushnell DMR weighs like 35 oz (according to a Hide member who weighed one on a postal scale) and doesn’t really do anything better than this scope except for a hair more top-end power (at the cost of tunneling from 3.5-4.5x), I’d say the Mark 5 3.6-18x44 is easily worth the money, especially with some of the ridiculously low prices that have been popping up lately.
 
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5RWill

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Yes indeed. Like I said, I can induce it if I move around the eyebox a lot, but centered up, I can’t see any. I couldn’t get it to completely go away with the camera, though. That picture was the best one; all the other ones had horrible purple and yellow mess all over them, hahaha. Trying to do too much with too many lenses, I guess. The scope is optimized for the lens system in your skull, and it seems to work just fine in that context.
This is my main worry with the scope is CA. Thus far though reports are good. One more day and i can finally get back home and give an update on mine compared to my SN-3.

I have to say i'm thoroughly impressed with the eyebox this time around, at least going on most people's opinion of them. That was one of the main issues with the mark 6 other than tracking and price. If i'm not too busy try to get another AR pistol built i think i'm going to snag a 3.6-18 for my SPR.
 

wjm308

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brighter somehow even with its 44mm objective, and the eyebox was much more forgiving. I had to move very slightly behind the XRS to get the edges of the image clear, but with the Leupold, the whole thing looks good at once. The colors are also a bit warmer and more natural with the Leupold, whereas the XRS gives everything a cool tint. The contrast is fantastic as well. I could see detail in the tree bark even though it looked very dark against the snow.
Thank you Disconnekt, the mini review is greatly appreciated. I have found some scopes with smaller objectives to appear brighter to my eye than the scope with the larger objective at the same magnification, I also understand there are ways to make the image "appear" brighter to our eyes which is predominantly a proprietary process with each manufacturer. I don't have all the details but this has been confirmed by at least one manufacturer and it sounds like Leupold has found a way to make their Mark 5HD glass excel which is very good news indeed. The blue cast you mention of the XRS reminds me of my DMR which also had a blue cast that caused the scope to suffer in low light for my eyes, my guess is the XRS has the same feature. The DMR II has fixed this issue and Bushnell claims it was simply through a change of multicoating but I wonder if they too have not added something special to the DMR II/XRS II line. When you say "with the Leupold, the whole thing looks good at once" that is what I call a forgiving eyebox and a feature I appreciate in a scope. Both the XRS and the Mark 5 have similar specs for eye relief, but what you experienced is more than just eye relief, it is the ability to quickly and easily get a good sight picture when behind the eye piece. With proper mounting, hold and cheekweld/position most scopes can get a good sight picture, you probably did not have much of an issue with your XRS, but you noticed pretty quickly that the Leupold was even better in this regard. Having good resolution and contrast is something else I look for and it sounds like the Leupold has checked that box as well.

For the discounted prices these scopes are already going for, and if the mechanics can hold up then I can see myself getting the 3.6-18x44 for my next large frame AR build. The size is right, the weight is right, the glass sounds right, just wish they had better reticles.
 
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Subwrx300

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Thanks to all the members posting photos and reviews! This is the reason SH is a great community!

I really REALLY wanted to buy into this line. But I just can't get past some of the photos showing a fair amount of CA, at least in comparison to the ATACR 4-16 and to a lesser degree the DMR line. Even if it's not as bad in person with real eyes on the scope, the fact that it doesn't show up in the ATACR photos but does in many if not all the photos of the Mark 5HD, is concerning (for me at least).

With real world prices on the 3-18 falling between 1700-2100 for non-illum to illuminated Tremors/H59s, I ended up going with a used 4-16 ATACR for under $2k. Features are nearly identical, except for weight, but this is a scope I can run for 4-5 years without becoming upset that CA shows up exactly when you need a clear image in a high contrast environment.

My opinion only: I think the non-illuminated 3.6-18 models represent a great value for their price point but if illumination is important, it seems like their are other scopes that may offer more long-term benefit, albeit at a slightly higher price point. But it's SOOOO close to call. In this case, my experience
with NF products (durability, tracking consistency and optical clarity for my eyes) is worth a bit more than 100-200 saved short term. Now the 5-25 is a different story and may actually be a huge value to the community as optical trade offs may be very small/negligible compared to an extra 500-1000 for similar scopes.

Really hoping a few of the other guys on here can put up videos through the Mark 5 of tracking, looking at various objects/targets and objective comparisons against scopes below and above it's price point (XTR2, SSHD, Razor, AMG, NF etc). I want this scope to be a new start for Leupold's long range market to help spur competition and drive some prices down a bit.

But but all accounts so far, most everyone seems very happy with their new Leppys! That's a huge step in the right direction!
 
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wjm308

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I really REALLY wanted to buy into this line. But I just can't get past some of the photos showing a fair amount of CA, at least in comparison to the ATACR 4-16 and to a lesser degree the DMR line. Even if it's not as bad in person with real eyes on the scope, the fact that it doesn't show up in the ATACR photos but does in many if not all the photos of the Mark 5HD, is concerning (for me at least).
I see it too but it's so hard to tell when taking pictures from one optical system (camera and lens) through another optical system (scope) due to the combination of aberrations between the two, this is why I try to always caveat my images with the fact that CA was less to the naked eye than it appears within the image or vice versa. I also know that I am more sensitive to CA than others and I can see it where they cannot, if you're one who doesn't see much CA in scopes then do yourself a favor and don't go looking for it, be happy that you can't pick it up because while it's nothing that will affect your ability to put a round on target it is an annoyance especially when you're paying over $1k for these optics (and for some optics well over $2k even which I find difficult to justify).

I want this scope to be a new start for Leupold's long range market to help spur competition and drive some prices down a bit.

But but all accounts so far, most everyone seems very happy with their new Leppys! That's a huge step in the right direction!
Isn't it funny that the narrative with Leupold just a few months ago was pretty much the opposite. With the Mark 8 and Mark 6 representing Leupold's top of the line tactical offering and the astronomical prices of these offerings it seemed like Leupold was trying to push the market way up, but the competition was too fierce and it would seem Leupold has had to change their game plan accordingly, but I agree, this is good news for the community. Hopefully what comes next are better reticles (the TMR being a glorified mil dot and the other reticles considered too busy by some) and a drop in the price of entry for illumination, those are still two areas where Leupold is behind.
 
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wjm308

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Mile High has 15% off all their Mark 5s right now, with all Tremor 3s and TMRs in stock (but not H59s or CCHs). Just sayin’...
Do not tempt me! I wonder if Leupold is allowing these discounts to their dealers to encourage sales and get shooters on board, but how long will the discounts last is the question, will the price drop even further in six months, or will it go up?
 
Dec 10, 2017
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I did some shooting with it yesterday and today, plus I tested the tracking on a precisely drawn tall target with the rifle secured, so time for probably the last update!

Yesterday around sunset I put the 3.6-18x44 Mark 5 on my 16” suppressed AR15 to do some preliminary sighting in to get it close with cheap ammo. In a 20 MOA mount, impact was about 5 mils high and half a mil left at 100 yards. I made the single correction and was immediately able to smack a 9.25” steel target with every shot in the rest of the magazine at 345 yards. This shooting was done in low light, but I never had any difficulty picking up the target, even though it blends in with the shaded snowy slope in the background really well.

Today I put the scope on my 16” LaRue PredatOBR to zero with 3 different Hornady loads, since this will be the gun it stays on most of the time. It was just .3 mils high at 100 yards with windage dead on even after switching rifles. I dialed down .3 mils (thanks, M5C3 turrets!) and the composite group for Hornady Black 155gr and 168gr plus 168gr A-max TAP Precision was centered up and less than 1.3 MOA. Every individual 5 round group was 1 MOA or less. I haven’t been able to achieve that on one target after 2 years with this rifle, and I wonder if maybe the old scope had something to do with it. I thought it might have been the mount, but I mounted the Mark 5 in the mount in question with no trouble. In any case, clearly nothing is loose in the scope, as the tOBR is overgassed and recoils a lot harder than my other .308. After the sighting in, I used the reticle to hit the steel some more until I got bored.

This time around I did notice a little CA, but a lot less than I was used to with the Bushnell scopes. It didn’t bother me, and the image resolution at 18x was much higher than my old DMR was at 21x. I had no trouble picking out the bullet holes on the target. So if CA reeeeeally bothers you, yes, this scope has a bit of it, but it doesn’t make it any harder to see anything that I can tell, so if you are able to not worry about it, it shouldn’t cause you trouble.

Now for some bad news: elevation adjustments are 1% too small (101 clicks for 10 mils, 202 for 20, etc.). Contrast this with my XRS, which is dead nuts on through the entire adjustment range. Fortunately, it’s consistent across the entire adjustment range, it’s repeatable, and it returns to zero every time, so an entry in the ballistic calculator can make it a non-issue. You can only dial 5 mils of windage in either direction before hitting the stop, and those 5 mils are dead on both left and right through the whole elevation range.

Problem #2: the reticle is canted between .6 and .8 degrees. This manifests as point of aim shifting about .1 mils left about every 7.5 mils of elevation when the reticle is vertical. Again, just something I have to account for. I’ll mostly be shooting from the reticle, so this doesn’t bother me. The XRS is perfectly vertical in comparison.

Problem #3: I’m not sure if this is a limitation of all optics, but the parallax goes out of whack as I approach the limits of the elevation travel. In practical terms, this isn’t an issue because I presume you’d dial for the range before adjusting the parallax.

Anyway, I’m quite happy with it... it works great for my purposes, it’s nice and light, it’s really easy to look through and see through, and the price was right for the performance it delivers. Your mileage may vary depending on your priorities.
 
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Elevation adjustments are too small as in it isn't tracking? This is giving me cold feet..
Each elevation click is .099 mils instead of .100 mils. It is also possible that my “test fixture” isn’t as secure as I hoped, and the error I’m seeing is the result of vibrations from the clicking gradually moving the rifle. I can actually see some pretty gross movements while I turn the turret if I look through the scope while I’m doing it. However, I ran the turrets up and down many times, and they had the same amount of error every time and always landed right back on the zero on my board when I zeroed the turret. Plus, the visible vibration from turning the turrets didn’t show any error in my XRS once everything stopped moving.

I might send the scope back in to get this and the very slight reticle cant corrected, but I’m not sure what Leupold’s tolerances are on these things. The cant is unnoticeable without dialing around 10 mils of elevation with the reticle aligned with a vertical target.

Edited to add: when I hear people talk about tracking problems, I usually understand it to mean issues with consistency of adjustment value, repeatability, and returning to zero. This scope has consistent adjustments, lands at the same place every time with a given adjustment, and returns to zero perfectly (i.e. it passes a box test). The issue here is solely with the adjustment value, which, while consistent and repeatable, is slightly off the nominal value.
 
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Pusher591

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These are my FIRST impressions only and very minimal time spent with it other then finger banging it and setting diopter.

Glass appears to be on par and I would say better then the Vortex Gen II Razor. A little bit of CA was obvious from the get go BUT, I expected this. It’s not as bad as the Mk6’s. CA was also dependent on back ground as well. Clarity to edge was excellent.

Turrets have very little if any play, but they just barely and I mean barely don’t line up exactly so if this is somehting that really bothers you then know now it’s there, at least on this one it is.

Turret clicks are nice and tactile but not as tactile as I prefer. I much prefer S&B or NF turrets more.

I purchased the Illuminated TMR through Lanbos Armory which are excellent to deal with and great CS/Prices. I got it for sub $2000 shipped so based on my short evaluation I think this scope is a value, esapcially at the non-illuminated Prices.

I wish Leupold would have actually spent the money to make it a viable $2499 scope though but for less then $2000 I think it’s hard to beat but I’ll save my final thoughts until new gun arrives and I put it through its paces.
 
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Nice!! Good looking out
Not a problem. Unfortunately it still doesn't fix that weird 11 o'clock windage marker. I think if it wasn't a capped turret, aligning would be easy, but with the gap caused by the cap threads, it's driving me crazy! I'm considering taking a Dremel to it to cut a slight gap down the threads, then painting it white so I have a better indicator. Don't want the cap to not thread on though
 

5RWill

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Got home a little late but had some time to take them out and compare them. I can finally say it's the first scope i've bought that does indeed have better glass than my USO SN-3. I had them both on 9x starting at sunset looking at the deer behind the IPSC which is 800yds away, i'm thinking roughly 1100yds or so. 23 minutes after sunset the Leupold edged it out. Which it should in this category given the specs. I could make out the entire silhouette with the Leupold and couldn't see her with my SN-3 until she started running down the CRP line and her tail was up.

I thought i might of caught a hint of CA at first but i'll give a more definite opinion tomorrow during the day. Eyebox is tight at 25x. Though i might have a bit of work to do on positioning the scope. Edge to edge clarity and resolution are up there for sure. My knobs also don't line up but i've never had an optic that did this perfectly from the factory and as long as i can get them lined up fiddling with it, i'll be fine. Next weekend i should be shooting in laurel at an F class match and put against an ATACR 5-25

Take the pics with a grain of salt as you all know, my iphone SE with me holding it mid air certainly isn't indication of the glass quality.


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5RWill

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Alright so finally got to put it through it's paces...well to some degree. I didn't get to see if it was tracking because i chambered a round that was a bit rough to chamber with my Tempest, pulled it out and the case and powder came with it and the bullet stayed put. Didn't have a rod with me so needless to say my gun went down. I was having a hard time getting it zero'd but i'm putting that on myself, because to be frank, i was shooting terrible. Idk how some of you do it but if i'm absent from shooting for a couple of months i basically have to start over. Well it took three hours to calm down and i finally printed some decent groups with dad's 6.5 SAUM (unfortunately his Zeiss V6 isn't holding zero).

Anyhow enough of my rambling here are some updated pics. Scopes to compare it to where again my USO SN-3 and dad's Zeiss V6 3-18. Have to give Zeiss some credit for a scope that is nearly $600-1000 less than the two it's up against it really holds it's own. Though this is nothing new from Zeiss as my Conquest for the money is no slouch for it's price range.

Going back to the clicks while audible and pretty tactile just don't have enough resistance between them IMHO. Don't get me wrong it's not some detriment like the M5B2s were, they're solid knobs but could use a little work. Their windage is much stiffer. I didn't bring the hex allen key to set the zero stop and all either so it could change somewhat. My HDMR II felt better after i had set the zero stop. Though this is all personal preference and completely subjective, i do suggest getting your hands on one if you're considering it and are picky about turrets.

Parallax while smoother than i would prefer as i initially stated worked fine and was pretty generous from 500-800yds. No it doesn't line up quite perfect on the indicating yardage but that is nit picking to me. I've never really used the marking that much, rather i just turn it until the picture looks the clearest to my eye.

The first test was looking at paper at 100yds as i had to zero my rifle and shoot some groups with the 6.5 SAUM. No CA what so ever, again glass continues to impress me. I might have judged the eyebox prematurely while i wont say it's the most comfortable i've been behind it's not as bad as i originally thought. I've had to adjust my cheek weld and am still doing so to try and get it set so it's perfect.

After shooting finally got back to my range to see what it looked like on white steel with the sun beaming down on it. First and foremost maybe it's because i just haven't had a 56mm objective but the thing is ridiculously bright compared to what i'm used to. Very Gen II razor-esque. Colors pop and everything looks vibrant rather than warm like my USO. I set them all on 16x and kept going back and forth between targets to look for CA. This was from 200-800yds in 100yd increments, the Zeiss was the worst at controlling CA. Which was expected. The Leupold came in second, although it's a very close second. It's as mentioned before, almost dependent on cheek weld and where you are in reference behind the scope if you'll see CA. Some viewings i couldn't tell there was any, others i had the faintest smidge.. that is to be fair and honest completely unnoticeable less you were seriously looking for it. When i say faint i mean it's almost completely absent, it was practically unnoticed. Though the USO again has none what so ever, still makes me smile honestly. That scope is approaching 10 years old and it's just been a fabulous piece of glass to me. FWIW i really need a phone skope, what you see below is probably the best i can do holding the phone behind my rifle but good God it takes some patience.

All in all for the money, strictly speaking in terms of glass quality, it is competing above it's price range if you're just going on price alone for the non-illuminated models. Leupold really needs to work on getting the illumination down then i think many more people would consider this a very viable option for those that need illumination. I myself, don't find it necessary. Considering what you can pick up this particular model for at Mile High right now for $1955 it's truthfully the best scope i've been behind in a sub $2000 price bracket, bar none. Yes that includes the Cronus for what short time i spent behind one. I mean if we're being frank it was just a couple of years ago that the ERS was $1999 and there is absolutely no comparison between the two.
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TheMammoth

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This is good to hear, especially as you've said how much you hate CA. All this positive feedback has me itching to grab one and give it a go.
 

5RWill

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If you can get one below $2000 i'm not sure how anyone could be disappointed given that it tracks at least speaking for the 5-25. They do need better reticle options also, most don't want an upcharge for a decent reticle If politicians weren't oozing for a semi-auto ban i'd go ahead and take Mile High up on their discount and have order a 3.6-18 for the SPR. Part of me does still wish i had gotten an AMG to see what it was like. Partially because i know how the L-tec turrets feel. But the leupold hasn't done anything wrong to warrant being disappointed just yet, less it doesn't track.
 
Apr 24, 2017
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Part of me does still wish i had gotten an AMG to see what it was like. Partially because i know how the L-tec turrets feel.
I have no reservations about my AMG purchase and will likely pick up another for a .223 trainer rifle. It is only a couple hundred dollars more than the MK5, the glass hits above its price point, turrets are second only to the K624i, the EBR7B is possibly my favorite reticle, and CA is non-existent.

I have been considering the 3.6-18, but with the rumors of a lower power AMG on the horizon I think ill just continue to run the MK6 with M5C2s and TMR reticle on the 6.5 Grendel
 
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5RWill

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I have no reservations about my AMG purchase and will likely pick up another for a .223 trainer rifle. It is only a couple hundred dollars more than the MK5, the glass hits above its price point, turrets are second only to the K624i, the EBR7B is possibly my favorite reticle, and CA is non-existent.

I have been considering the 3.6-18, but with the rumors of a lower power AMG on the horizon I think ill just continue to run the MK6 with M5C2s and TMR reticle on the 6.5 Grendel
The reticle was part of the persuasion too. The discounted price on both was $200 difference but i really do love the H59. Gives me a crutch to lean on on no dial stages. We'll see though. I'm going to run it for a month or so and i still am wanting to scratch that itch for an AMG i'll likely put it up. I feel i could still get most of my money back as it will be in near perfect condition.
 
Apr 24, 2017
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The reticle was part of the persuasion too. The discounted price on both was $200 difference but i really do love the H59. Gives me a crutch to lean on on no dial stages. We'll see though. I'm going to run it for a month or so and i still am wanting to scratch that itch for an AMG i'll likely put it up. I feel i could still get most of my money back as it will be in near perfect condition.
The only thing I could possibly see myself switching to would be the new Kahles 525 if it handles CA better than the 624.
 
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5RWill

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The only thing I could possibly see myself switching to would be the new Kahles 525 if it handles CA better than the 624.
Didn't know they were doing a 5-25. Personally i'd like to see one in Bill or ILya's hands again before i jump to Kahles. Seen too many instances or claims of CA to even warrant considering dropping 3k+ on one. Hell at that point they're in TT/ZCO territory and if i'm dropping that kind of cash i'd likely look to them instead, no offense to those that love them. This is of course my personal opinion. I just wasn't sold on the potential $800 difference between it and the Gen II razor when i compared the too, albeit briefly. Someone gives it the go ahead of course i'd reconsider but again at that price i'd really like to give TT or ZCO a shot. Especially ZCO.
 
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Apr 24, 2017
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Didn't know they were doing a 5-25. Personally i'd like to see one in Bill or ILya's hands again before i jump to Kahles. Seen too many instances or claims of CA to even warrant considering dropping 3k+ on one. Hell at that point they're in TT/ZCO territory and if i'm dropping that kind of cash i'd likely look to them instead, no offense to those that love them. This is of course my personal opinion. I just wasn't sold on the potential $800 difference between it and the Gen II razor when i compared the too, albeit briefly. Someone gives it the go ahead of course i'd reconsider but again at that price i'd really like to give TT or ZCO a shot. Especially ZCO.
K525 Link

I concur, until someone reputable has one in hands and can confirm the amount of CA they will not get my money. Hence why I went AMG instead of K624.
 

5RWill

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I googled afterwards and found it. Seems to be a silent launch of it because i saw no word from SHOT interesting. Though again at $3300 i wonder how it's going to stack up against TT, ZCO, and the new S&Bs
 
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What rings is everyone running for these? Absolutely love my dmr2 but considering a mk5hd just for weight savings on a Bergara HMR.
 

wjm308

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I googled afterwards and found it. Seems to be a silent launch of it because i saw no word from SHOT interesting. Though again at $3300 i wonder how it's going to stack up against TT, ZCO, and the new S&Bs
Thank you for the thoroughness of all your information on the Leupold Mark 5 5-25x56 Will! Regarding the Kahles K525i, I knew it was coming but was surprised it was introduced so soon and yet nothing mentioned at SHOT, my guess is this scope won't show up for a while, but they didn't want to lose market share to ZCO or other manufactures and are hoping the announcement alone will be enough to keep those interested waiting.
 
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koshkin

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Didn't know they were doing a 5-25. Personally i'd like to see one in Bill or ILya's hands again before i jump to Kahles. Seen too many instances or claims of CA to even warrant considering dropping 3k+ on one. Hell at that point they're in TT/ZCO territory and if i'm dropping that kind of cash i'd likely look to them instead, no offense to those that love them. This is of course my personal opinion. I just wasn't sold on the potential $800 difference between it and the Gen II razor when i compared the too, albeit briefly. Someone gives it the go ahead of course i'd reconsider but again at that price i'd really like to give TT or ZCO a shot. Especially ZCO.
My ability to test Kahles scopes may be a bit limited now that they are distributed by Swarovski. In the last several years I have not been able to get anyone at Swarovski North America to get back to me and I do not like to spend a lot of time chasing after people. They are always perfectly friendly at SHOT and go completely silent afterwards. I'll give it one more shot around summer before I give up. My time is sorta limited, so will continue looking at scopes I can easily borrow from the manufacturer. Usually, that means companies who are not afraid of a little criticism. Kahles used to be one of them, but we'll see if that still holds true.

I can always borrow one from one of the larger retailers like SWFA, EuroOptics or Cameraland, but that means they can no longer sell it as a new scope when I return it, so I do not like abusing their good graces too much.

ILya
 

5RWill

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Thank you for the thoroughness of all your information on the Leupold Mark 5 5-25x56 Will! Regarding the Kahles K525i, I knew it was coming but was surprised it was introduced so soon and yet nothing mentioned at SHOT, my guess is this scope won't show up for a while, but they didn't want to lose market share to ZCO or other manufactures and are hoping the announcement alone will be enough to keep those interested waiting.
Glad i could help Bill. I try to be as thorough as i can but am no expert on the matter just rather have a somewhat informed and unbiased opinion or try at least.

I'll be keeping my eye on Kahles but i hope they've fixed their CA issues. At the new prices they certainly need to be on par with TT.

My ability to test Kahles scopes may be a bit limited now that they are distributed by Swarovski. In the last several years I have not been able to get anyone at Swarovski North America to get back to me and I do not like to spend a lot of time chasing after people. They are always perfectly friendly at SHOT and go completely silent afterwards. I'll give it one more shot around summer before I give up. My time is sorta limited, so will continue looking at scopes I can easily borrow from the manufacturer. Usually, that means companies who are not afraid of a little criticism. Kahles used to be one of them, but we'll see if that still holds true.

I can always borrow one from one of the larger retailers like SWFA, EuroOptics or Cameraland, but that means they can no longer sell it as a new scope when I return it, so I do not like abusing their good graces too much.

ILya
Well hopefully they'll loan you one to review as i'd be eager to see your opinion.
 

Renomd

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Feb 13, 2017
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I know there’s a couple videos but I’ve found a couple on you tube comparing the turrets on the mark 5 vs nightforce vs vortex gen2
 
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Dec 10, 2017
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I spent some time this afternoon exhaustively comparing the Mark 5 3.6-18x44 and my Bushnell XRS (at 18x), and I need to revise my initial assessment. The XRS has better glass. Resolution and clarity are about the same, as is brightness. When I said the XRS wasn’t all clear at once and had bad CA... turns out my diopter was a bit off and my cheek rest on the rifle was just a smidge low. Got everything readjusted, and the XRS controls CA better and is focused edge to edge.

The FOV of the Mark 5 is smaller than that of the XRS by 3-4 mils diameter at 18x, which explains why I thought the image was bigger before in the XRS... I just matched the mil subtensions across the FOV since the XRS is not marked at 18x. I compared to all the other powers with matching markings and found that the XRS had a consistently bigger FOV at a given power. I also went back and forth quickly to compare apparent image size, and used both eyes open to compare the scope images against a fixed reference, and the XRS is definitely a bigger image.

That said, I still like the Mark 5 a lot. Its eyebox is approximately twice as long as the XRS, plus it weighs probably about 3/4 pound less and is really short, so it’s really easy to bring up and take a snap shot. But the XRS looks a bit better with a bigger field of view at 18x once I’m in the middle of the eyebox and properly focused. That said, the image brightness and sharpness falls off pretty sharply with the XRS once you get past 20x, far more so than the Mark 5 does at its maximum power. So yeah, different tools for different applications, and the little Mark 5 definitely has its place. I feel like somewhere down the road I’ll have to pick up a 5-25x to see if it’s better than the XRS at what the XRS does well. I suspect it just might be.
 

5RWill

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Interesting assessment indeed. Idk if i'm to presume due to mechanics and design there is a different drop off in quality from the ultra short MK5 to the 5-25 or rather my HDMR II was a poor representation of the DMR II/HDMR II. Neither my ERS, LRHS, or HDMR II hold a candle to my USO or MK5. Edge to edge clarity and CA were borderline awful in my HDMR II. I'll get another look at a DMR II my cousin has this weekend though, should be interesting.
 
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Interesting assessment indeed. Idk if i'm to presume due to mechanics and design there is a different drop off in quality from the ultra short MK5 to the 5-25 or rather my HDMR II was a poor representation of the DMR II/HDMR II. Neither my ERS, LRHS, or HDMR II hold a candle to my USO or MK5. Edge to edge clarity and CA were borderline awful in my HDMR II. I'll get another look at a DMR II my cousin has this weekend though, should be interesting.
I’m not saying the XRS has no CA; it does have a bit centered up, and a lot if I’m not right in the middle of the eyebox. But the 3.6-18 has a little bit more in the center than the XRS does in the center. From what I remember of my Gen 1 DMR, it was optically worse than both. I can see bullet holes at 100 yards a little better with the Mark 5 at 18x than I could with the DMR at 21.

I’ve heard other people say the 5-25x is optically superior to the 3.6-18x. That wouldn’t surprise me with over 60% more objective area and less severe angles in the scope. Mechanically, I think my Mark 5 was probably just a bad sample, and it wasn’t even that bad... 1% off and still consistent and repeatable isn’t a huge deal. The 3.6-18x is a very good, short, light scope. If it were an outstanding short, light scope, I bet it would cost a lot more than most people are buying it for right now.
 

5RWill

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I’m not saying the XRS has no CA; it does have a bit centered up, and a lot if I’m not right in the middle of the eyebox. But the 3.6-18 has a little bit more in the center than the XRS does in the center. From what I remember of my Gen 1 DMR, it was optically worse than both. I can see bullet holes at 100 yards a little better with the Mark 5 at 18x than I could with the DMR at 21.

I’ve heard other people say the 5-25x is optically superior to the 3.6-18x. That wouldn’t surprise me with over 60% more objective area and less severe angles in the scope. Mechanically, I think my Mark 5 was probably just a bad sample, and it wasn’t even that bad... 1% off and still consistent and repeatable isn’t a huge deal. The 3.6-18x is a very good, short, light scope. If it were an outstanding short, light scope, I bet it would cost a lot more than most people are buying it for right now.
I see. What XRS are you comparing it to? XRS II? Or the original XRS? FWIW i thought my ERS had better glass then the mark 6 i traded for. Could've been my bias though i hated that scope.
 
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I see. What XRS are you comparing it to? XRS II? Or the original XRS? FWIW i thought my ERS had better glass then the mark 6 i traded for. Could've been my bias though i hated that scope.
It’s the original... I haven’t had an opportunity to look through the II. Although with the 30% Bushnell rebate going on right now, if I hadn’t just bought the Mark 5, I’d probably find an excuse to pick one up! But yeah, the original is a solid scope for sure, it’s just big and heavy, and I wanted something more suited to a 16” .308 AR. Especially since my XRS has an H37 with the horizontal stadia just 2 mils from the top in a 12-mil total FOV at 30x.

I was in the market for a short, light scope with ~15-20x max power and a Tremor 3 when I got the Mark 5. It looked to me like this and the Mark 6 were the only real options if I didn’t want to spend more money on a heavier Nightforce with less power. Judging from your opinion (and many I’ve heard) of the Mark 6, I probably have a much better scope for less money (even if I had picked up a Mark 6 used).
 
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5RWill

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It’s the original... I haven’t had an opportunity to look through the II. Although with the 30% Bushnell rebate going on right now, if I hadn’t just bought the Mark 5, I’d probably find an excuse to pick one up! But yeah, the original is a solid scope for sure, it’s just big and heavy, and I wanted something more suited to a 16” .308 AR. Especially since my XRS has an H37 with the horizontal stadia just 2 mils from the top in a 12-mil total FOV at 30x.

I was in the market for a short, light scope with ~15-20x max power and a Tremor 3 when I got the Mark 5. It looked to me like this and the Mark 6 were the only real options if I didn’t want to spend more money on a heavier Nightforce with less power. Judging from your opinion (and many I’ve heard) of the Mark 6, I probably have a much better scope for less money (even if I had picked up a Mark 6 used).
If that Bushnell rebate applied to the Elite Tactical lineup i think Bushnell would have a hard time restocking their items i know i'd be tempted. I've seen the XRS II in person albeit brief and it's very nice. I was just making sure that you weren't comparing the those two rather than the Gen I XRS. I will say that's a bit disappointing to hear. The ERS/XRS DMRII/HDMRII are workhorses they work plain and simple. However i had hoped the short Mark 5 would retain most of it's big brother's characteristics as far as glass quality was concerned. Is what it is though.

Yup with the Mark 5 out i don't see a reason to get the Mark 6 at least going on the impressions of the mark 5 thus far, seems they've remedied the Mark 6.

I'm heading to Laurel this weekend for a 600yd F-class match, buddy has a 5-25 ATACR plan to put it side to side against the MK5, i'd consider it more apples to apples with the mark 5 than the SN-3 comparison.