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Max Online: 16728 @ 03/25/12 08:51 AM
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#6213036 - 03/07/16 01:28 PM Leupold VX3i - Any Experience?
TXMikeMcC Offline
Tracker

Registered: 04/04/05
Posts: 503
I'm in the market for a new scope for a 77/357 suppressed build, and I came across the newly introduced VX3i. It appears as though they've discontinued the VX3 in favor of the 3i series, and they're touting it as being superior to the VX3 in terms of optical quality, but with lower costs due to manufacturing inefficiencies. I like the VX3i's specs on their 4.5-14x40 SF CDS model, because it has 115 MOA for windage and elevation adjustment, as well as the exposed elevation turret. That said, I'm curious if anyone has looked through one of these and can compare it optically to another scope?

I've looked for hours online and I can't seem to find one "hands on" report of the new scope, but have seen several being sold via forums.

Anybody?

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#6213338 - 03/07/16 05:16 PM Re: Leupold VX3i - Any Experience? [Re: TXMikeMcC]
Gravytrain Online   content
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Registered: 01/06/11
Posts: 16921
Loc: Rowlett, Tx
I like it, the glass is good. The glass is on par with my normal vx3 and maybe even a little better out to the edges.
My parallax is fixed, not sure the spec'd distance, but it seems nice enough after about 30y. It's a lite scope. It
has good light gathering like the vx3. I'd call it a pretty good hunting scope.

I do like my vortex viper PST 2.5-10x44 better in terms of turrets, reticle and glass. But it is a slightly heavier scope too.
If you are in East DFW you can look through mine.

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#6213377 - 03/07/16 05:35 PM Re: Leupold VX3i - Any Experience? [Re: Gravytrain]
TXMikeMcC Offline
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Registered: 04/04/05
Posts: 503
Originally Posted By: Gravytrain
I like it, the glass is good. The glass is on par with my normal vx3 and maybe even a little better out to the edges.
My parallax is fixed, not sure the spec'd distance, but it seems nice enough after about 30y. It's a lite scope. It
has good light gathering like the vx3. I'd call it a pretty good hunting scope.

I do like my vortex viper PST 2.5-10x44 better in terms of turrets, reticle and glass. But it is a slightly heavier scope too.
If you are in East DFW you can look through mine.


Gravytrain - Thanks a ton for your feedback; this post probably makes you the first person on the internet to provide real world feedback on these things. I appreciate the offer, but I'm in the Austin area, so a bit too much of a drive.

The 2.5-10x44 Vortex was on my short list; it had most of the specs I was after, but call me vain, I just couldn't get past the looks of that specific model. I do like my 6.5-24x50 PST though.

Anyone else?

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#6213398 - 03/07/16 05:54 PM Re: Leupold VX3i - Any Experience? [Re: TXMikeMcC]
Gravytrain Online   content
THF Celebrity

Registered: 01/06/11
Posts: 16921
Loc: Rowlett, Tx
The 2.5-10x44 is a little stubby looking, but it is a darn nice scope. It also looks nicer
in person than the pictures. To be more specific about the Viper having "better" glass. It's
not better per se, I just like the size of the site picture better as well as the size of the
eye box. The low light is similar to the vx3. I'd give my copy of the PST the edge on colors too,
not to say the vx3 is bad, it's good. I also have a vx3 2.5-8x36 which I'm basing my comparisons
off of.

I also have a 4-16x50 Steiner, and a 3-15x50 minox ZA5, both of which I would say have a little better
glass than the vx3i. But they are both bulkier and more expensive too. And i have a Millet 4-16x56
which is not as good as the vx3i.


Edited by Gravytrain (03/07/16 05:58 PM)

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#6213479 - 03/07/16 06:48 PM Re: Leupold VX3i - Any Experience? [Re: TXMikeMcC]
Double Naught Spy Offline
Extreme Tracker

Registered: 05/18/11
Posts: 4175
Loc: Forestburg, Montague Cnty, TX


I have the VX-3i 4.5-14x40mm. It is a very nice little scope.

Here are my impressions after 3 range sessions with it, sighting in ammo and such. Keep in mind that I prefer a scope with an objective focus. I found the glass to be very good. Zoom is smooth and snug without being difficult to move. Zeroing (windage and elevation) behaved as expected from a quality Leupold scope. I had a good bit of trouble finding the sweet spot on the ocular focus, but once I finally did, I am good to go. My biggest failure was not realizing that you could not use full zoom at 50 yards and trying to correct for it.

So, at 50 yards, about all the power you can get out of the scope before the FOV goes blurry is about 10x. By 100 yards, you can use the full range of zoom. I do not know at what point (75 yards?) you can use full zoom, but it is okay by 100.

Had no problem seeing my impacts at 200 yards.

Light transmission seems very good. No clue as to actual #s and I did not attempt to compare it with another scope.

As noted, it is a quite light scope.

Talked to a hunting buddy who has a couple similar scopes. He noted that the minimalist controls were to simplify things in the field for hunters. I sort of prefer the objective focus, but that is me.

What more do you want to know?
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#6213543 - 03/07/16 07:15 PM Re: Leupold VX3i - Any Experience? [Re: TXMikeMcC]
TXMikeMcC Offline
Tracker

Registered: 04/04/05
Posts: 503
Great feedback guys!

I placed an order for the 30mm tubed 4.5-14x40 SF CDS model this evening, so I guess I'll be able to do my own review soon. Overall I'd say for the past few years Leupold has been "behind the times" in terms of updating their scopes/features, but I recently purchased a VX-R 2-7x33 for an AR build and was really surprised at the clarity of the glass; with any luck this one will look good too.

I am also curious to see how the adjustments behave (i.e. Are they mushy? Are they repeatable when you're dialing the scope as you would a target/tactical rifle?). I'm just doing this for fun, but I'd really like to see if I can work up a 357 load that will shoot to 500y; Ballistic Calc says I'll need ~40 MOA of elevation to get there.


Edited by TXMikeMcC (03/07/16 07:16 PM)

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#6213791 - 03/07/16 09:56 PM Re: Leupold VX3i - Any Experience? [Re: TXMikeMcC]
el_cazador713 Offline
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Registered: 03/03/14
Posts: 358
Loc: Texas
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#6216332 - 03/09/16 02:16 PM Re: Leupold VX3i - Any Experience? [Re: TXMikeMcC]
TXMikeMcC Offline
Tracker

Registered: 04/04/05
Posts: 503
Well, I got mine delivered about 45 minutes ago.

Initial impressions (to my eyes only; this is obviously subjective) are that this scope optically is better than my 2-7x33 VXR, 6.5-20x50 VX3s, and Vortex PSTs. The glass is very clear, and the side parallax adjustment seems to just as well as my other VX3s.

I have mixed feelings about the adjustments though. I got the CDS model, and while it's great that I can dial up/down on the fly, the problem is the adjustment is a bit too loose; it could easily get knocked out of adjustment just taking it in/out of the bag. That's compounded by the fact that you can't tell what rotation you're on; it doesn't have hash marks like most turreted scopes, so you don't know if you're zeroed or 15 minutes off in either direction. I WILL have to fix this with a felt pen or something; this is a big drawback IMO.

While on the adjustments, as I mentioned previously, they're looser than your typical tactical/target turret (think the opposite of Vortex), but each click is pronounced. Another thing is that the "default" CDS dial only graduates in 3 MOA blocks. Meaning the scope will show 12 hash marks between 1MOA and 3MOA, but only the numbers 0-3 are printed on the turret; I'm not a huge fan of that for quick dialing. On a positive note, I was able to get ~54 MOA out of the default zeroed position, so it's got PLENTY of adjustment.

Without mounting it to a rifle, I'd give it a 6.5-7 out of 10. I completely understand why the CDS model was made this way (the custom CDS knobs lock you into only 15 MOA of come-ups, so after swapping out the knob for your custom load, it should work perfectly; I'm just not going to do that).

More to come once I get my 77/357 back from the smith.

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#6216856 - 03/09/16 07:06 PM Re: Leupold VX3i - Any Experience? [Re: TXMikeMcC]
TXMikeMcC Offline
Tracker

Registered: 04/04/05
Posts: 503
Here's a hastily thrown together video review of the VX-3i. I apologzie in advance for the slight rant on the CDS system, I suppose that's not inherent to just the VX-3i line.

Anyway, https://youtu.be/dyG4s_Vtsvw

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#6219633 - 03/11/16 01:11 PM Re: Leupold VX3i - Any Experience? [Re: TXMikeMcC]
TXMikeMcC Offline
Tracker

Registered: 04/04/05
Posts: 503
I got my 77/357 back from the smith today; crappy cell phone pic below:

Specs:
77/357 Barrel cut down to 16.5" and threaded
Leupold VX-3i 4.5-14x40 CDS SF 30mm tube
SilencerCo Octane 9
Volq 77/22 sear
Tactical works cheek pad

Measures 24" with the Octane 9 installed, and weight wise it feels/handles about like a full size sporter weight center-fire rifle. I'll get some better pics once I take it out and shoot it.


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#6219759 - 03/11/16 02:26 PM Re: Leupold VX3i - Any Experience? [Re: TXMikeMcC]
Gravytrain Online   content
THF Celebrity

Registered: 01/06/11
Posts: 16921
Loc: Rowlett, Tx
Looks good, looking forward to a range report!

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