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Old 02-27-2017, 01:14 PM
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Like you, I have no ties to Leupold or any other manufacturer. I post this as a strong reference for the Leupold VXR illuminated scopes.

For a very long time I had 20/10 vision…went to 20/15…am now at 20/20 and pleased with that being 70 yo. I say that because I believe the mid and upper level Zeiss scopes I’ve happily owned are a bit sharper in defining detail than the Leupold VX3’s I’ve looked thru and shot. Same for the Leica’s I currently own. Out of 10, for my eyes, I’d put the Zeiss and Leicas at 9.5…and the VXR at 9.0. As my vision is not as sharp anymore and especially in rapidly fading light, that’s when the VXR scopes really earn their keep.

Over decades of hunting, compared to my Leupolds, my Zeiss and Leica scopes have given me noticeably more time to shoot when the light went down hard. Not so anymore when the red fire-dot comes on. Now…if I have to choose a scope in those very, very last few minutes, I’ll take that fire dot on low. The very slight difference in scope clarity under these conditions, IMO, does not surpass the superiority of that tiny fire dot to place your bullet with precision under very trying conditions. My opinion comes directly from the field and game on the ground, not keyboard experience.

There are many, many good references on these scopes all over the net so I won’t repeat them here. I will say this…if you’ve never looked at a fire dot on low in low light conditions…you owe it to yourself to do so. If my VXR’s turn out to be as durable as I think they will, they will be replacing some of my other “top end” scopes. Not kidding, the VXR fire dot truly is a wonderful thing for the hunter at very early and very last light. The clarity of your animal in the higher end scope at near dark may be fractionally better but never again will the center of your cross hairs disappear. Me? I’ll gladly trade the very slight clarity difference for having been able to put that red dot exactly where I wanted it.

And for those who say it can be too bright in low light conditions…turn the brightness down!!! I keep mine on a low setting and it’s absolutely wonderful when my crosshairs start to fade into the background.

OK…back to our regular programming. Just thought you’d like to know.
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Old 02-27-2017, 02:58 PM
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Here, Here! I could not have said it better. My last harvest using a VX-R was a big Georgia boar taken 45 mins after SS and using no light source with zero illumination at that time. (I flew NVG in the Army and know how to describe ZERO illumination)

People talk 50, 56mm and expensive European glass as how to hunt in low light. Nope. You can claim what you want deny the superiority of that illuminated reticle, but unless you say you've tried a scope with IR, youd be kidding yourself.

I've killed deer, black bear and hogs with such scopes being used in the last 18 months. I can promise you that if you try a quality scope with IR, you'll see the truth.
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Old 02-27-2017, 10:39 PM
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I am going to be looking at a VXR very hard. I have been spending a lot of money buying better glass to overcome the low light problem, and its worked to extent. But even during the last minutes of legal light, even my expensive glass, the reticle fades and is gone. I have a hard time going to a illuminated anything when it comes to optics, but after your review, and many others I feel like its worth a shot. Theres one very large buck I have been chasing for 3 years, and I have had 4 missed opportunities during that last bit of legal light, and this may be the ticket for him to check out next fall as long as he makes it through this winter. Game cams show him still alive, so I am hopeful.
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Old 02-28-2017, 05:22 AM
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There seems to be reluctance by some in trying a scope with an illuminated reticle based on a couple questions I often see. The scopes with IR that I own (seven at this time, 3 different makers) all perform as a normal scope when the reticle is turned off.

So the idea of you being "stuck" if a battery goes dead is not true. You still, in the case of the VX-R have a scope more capable in low light than a Leupold VX3. And yes I own a VX3 in 2.5-8×36 and am comparing directly against a VX-R in 2-7×33.

As far as battery failure, the feature on the VX-R with auto turn-off greatly saves battery life. My 1st VX-R was purchased over 5 years ago and I just replaced the original battery. Of course, it's logical to carry the extra, nickel-sized, batteries with you, but with several seasons' hunts using them behind me, I've never had a failure in the field.

My battery failures are typically found when I pull a rifle out of the cabinet to check zero and prepare for an upcoming hunt. I find a dead battery because the scope was left on. Oooops.

Of course, none of my 3 VX-Rs has ever been found dead, because they turn themselves off in the cabinet and then are found to be on when I take the rifle out. They have auto off (after 5 mins of not moving the rifle) and auto on when the rifle is finally moved.

Another feature I like with these scopes is that in full daylight, they can also work like a red dot sight for still hunting or just to/from your stand location when fast target acquisition may be paramount.

Not everyone needs nor wants extreme low light performance and I understand that. But if you are also spending 3, 4, $500 on a new scope, you might just try one to see if it's a feature you might actually like.
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A veteran is someone who, at one point in his life, wrote
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for an amount of up to and including my life.
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country who no longer understand it.
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  #5  
Old 02-28-2017, 05:58 AM
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I have three scopes with illuminated reticules and they are very useful right at that last flicker of available light when a fox is just a shape and the fine centre wires start to go out of focus. Putting the light on at that point can change failure into success. What I don't see the need for is 'brightness' all I need to know is where do those wires cross and the first or second setting on mine is more than adequate. I do go to max, when shooting driven deer and boar when the long eye relief Hawke I have almost becomes a red dot.
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