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Leupold VX 3i Review – The New, The Better

leupold vx3i review

Ever heard of a shooter who hasn’t come across the efficiency of a Leupold scope? Let’s checkout Leupold VX 3i Review but before that let’s get to know Leupold.

Ever heard a hunter complaint about the efficiency of a Leupold scope? No and definitely, no! Leupold has taken time and effort to build for itself a trustworthy empire. Being owned within the provincial area of America where hunting has always been a quintessential sport and being owned by veterans who know their way about an optic, Leupold has always been at the receiving end of enormous amounts of appreciation and praises.

No wonders there! They might not be what you would call cost-friendly but they are definitely cost-efficient. Though, priced within the higher range of scopes, the Leupold optics give you total worth for each penny and even more. The features they process are out-of-the-world and ensure better efficiency while shooting.

Then again, the doubt would still loiter in your mind – isn’t it better to get hold of a cheap, good quality scope rather than an expensive one. I’ll guarantee that this opinion of yours will change after reading this particular review. Let me take you through what the Leupold VX 3i stands for. They are basically the hunter’s favorite. In fact, a large portion of Leopold’s popularity and sale profit is due to the immense pros of this Leupold VX 3i model. Now let us look into details as to what Leupold VX 3i 1.5-5x20mm has to offer.

In a Nutshell

No time to spare? Dont worry. Just read this set of capsule info and you are good to go.

Smile Wide! Cause this Leupold VX 3i scope is the best in the market. Two things that drive people to it is the optical clarity and the Twilight Max Light Management System. Basically it is best for bright and clear viewing of your target. Further, the scope is precise in terms of reticle marking and adjustments. Meant for small or medium range shooting, this scope is bestowed with a fast-focus eyepiece and extended eye relief. Further, it is lightweight as well as durable.

Watch Out! Cause this scope may be expensive when compared to other scopes within this range.

Leupold VX 3i Review

Leupold VX 3i Review

As already mentioned the VX 3i range of Leupold scopes is quite a hit in the market. A hunter’s best friend – they say! This range is offered in more than 10 models. Each of them is similarly bestowed with the reticle, lens coating, turrets, and other essential features. The difference is more or less in the lens size and magnification range. Within these, the 1.5-5x20mm is a unique piece since it is meant mostly for short-range and has an incredibly compact and lightweight nature. Read on for a full dissection of this scope.


This scope has features that will enhance the light-bearing and clarity viewing capacity of the scope. And this is specifically built to enhance short-range shooting. To start with the scope has a 20mm objective lens. This is not necessarily big enough to say that it will increase light transmission. But again, this is apt for its purpose as it ensures that the scope is not bulky. Further, there is no compromise of light transmission as the lens coatings are applied accordingly.

To start with it is fully multi-coated with DaimondCoat 2 protection. Hence there is an increase of light absorption, a decrease of glare production, and also extended scratch protection. The blackened lens edge increases the retention of the light and provides a wider field of light absorption. The color is also maintained without much distortion.

Now add to this Leupold’s own light enhancement characteristics – a Twilight Max Light Management System. Firstly, this gives an edge-to-edge lens clarity and hence a better image of the target at hand. It also gets rid of glare -according to Leupold “85% better than its stray competitors”. Further, this Twilight Max Light Management system will give you an extra 20 mins of shooting light in low light and battery low conditions. It is not astonishing as to why most hunters are drawn to this scope due to its lens quality.

The reticle is an equally important element in terms of aiming and precision. This Leupold VX 3i scope has a Duplex Reticle placed in the Second Focal Plane. These Duplex Reticles are seemingly helpful for an amateur hunter. Even for a professional hunter, the duplex reticles might serve as a handy tool for precision. Duplex reticle does its part in helping you aim by merging aptly consistent thick and thin crosshairs.

The thick hairs at the perimeter of the reticle make sure that your focus adjusts and remains intact in the middle of the reticle. The thin crosshairs at the center will further enlighten the precision withholding capacity of the reticle. Basically, you will get for yourself the best optic in the down. Hands down.

Range and Magnification:

As already made evident, the scope isn’t much high on magnification. It has a 1.5-5x magnification range. This Leupold scope is essentially meant for short-range shooting. By short-range, I mean something ranging from 50 to 300 yards. Yet the range and magnification have been proven to be helpful in all kinds of shooting locations – be it the open savannahs or the thick wilderness. With the help of a compatible rifle and cartridge, the scope can take your shot further along the range.


What is the use of all these optical prowess and critical precision if you can’t seem to put your target place. Though it looks like these features don’t define your game, you are incredibly wrong. They are as important as the nail that holds your structure together. And the people at the Leupold manufacturing company knows this really well. They have certainly put their best foot forward in areas that others may ignore under the force of a good optical prowess.

To start with, the windage and elevation turrets and smooth and precise. They are essentially based on a 117 MOA rotational adjustment. These capped turrets are moved with audible fingertip movement. This capped nature ensures that no accidental on range changes happens to the adjustment you’ve made. the scope further has a Twin Bias Spring Erector System which will make your adjustments all the more swift and impact. Hence there is an extended guarantee for precision and a reduction of any technical backlashes. Couple that with a fast-focus eyepiece it is indebted with and you are more than good to go!


This Leupold VX3i is certainly the lightest of the lot, even within the Leupold VX 3i range. It is lightweight, compact, and yet strong and durable. This is mostly because it is made of good quality alloys. The 6061 T6 Aluminium alloy used to make this scope has good strength to weight ratio, enough to even let it have good strength at low weight.

This is the material used to make boats, why should we even worry about its strength huh? It is further sealed with Argon or Krypton which is what gives the material a waterproofing layer. Basically the scope is weather-resistant – you need not worry about water resistance or fog clogging up your vision during an early morning shoot outing.

This Leupold VX 3i scope weights around 9 oz. Didn’t expect it to be that light huh? This might mostly because the lens, as well as the structure, is not bulky. Anyway, it serves the purpose very well and comes in handy for an unexpectedly swift shoot.

The scope also has a generous eye box, enough to give you a comfortable and harmless recoil. The eye relief is fairly well set. It gives you a range of 3.7 inches at 5x and 4.4 inches at 1.5x. Hence, you need not ever fathom about getting red-eye from this guy. He is easy to handle, strong and yet considerate enough to not hurt you.


Since the Leupold VX 3i is lightweight, you need not think about the scope having a detrimental effect on the rifle. Hence, you are open to choose from strong, high caliber rifles to slender lightweight ones. Also remember that the high powered caliber will not have an adverse effect on this lightweight scope, as it is strong as well as shock-resistant. The scope basically has a strong one-inch mounting ring to get you going. But what to mount?

Most hunters have been seen pairing this Leupold VX 3i scopes with the regular lever-action rifle calibers like .25-35, .30-30, .303 Savage, .32 Spec., .357 Mag., .35 Rem., .38-55, .405 Win., .44 Mag., .444 Marlin, .45-70, .450 Marlin and others of the same genre. But that doesn’t mean that the scope is limited to these. You can use it on even use it on medium and large hunting caliber rifles like the Winchester 94 Sporter .30-30 or the E.R. Shaw MK VII .338 Federal and many others.

Since you’ve almost finished reading Leupold VX 3i Review, why don’t you check out ‘Best Rifle Scopes for 300 yards‘. (It lists one of the best Leupold scopes)


  • Good quality lens
  • DaimondCoat protection
  • Twilight Max Light Management System
  • Duplex reticle for better aiming
  • Twin Bias Spring Erector System for better precision
  • Easy and precise turrets
  • Fast focus eyepiece
  • Good eye relief
  • Lightweight and compact
  • Made of 6061 T6 Alumiun – strong
  • Durable
  • Water, Fog and ShockproofHolographic reticle for better target acquisition
  • Advanced red dot MOA reticle feature.


  • Priced high


Why are Leupold scopes expensive?

Leupold uses high-quality materials for its structural construction. The fine detail they give to other features as well is one of the prime reasons as to why it is priced higher than regular scopes of the same type.

What is the difference between VX 3 and VX 3i?

The VX 3i model is an improvement on the VX 3. The very first factor you would notice is that it is cheaper than VX 3. Further, 3i has enhanced optical quality and also certain changes to functional aspects as well. The VX 3 models might have had the Light Management System but it was not of high resolution as the VX 3i model. While most other features remain the same, the VX 3i is a tab bit more rugged and if I had to admit, visually more attractive.


Keeping aside the issue of pricing, there is nothing that would make you not grab a Leupold scope. They are generally priced higher than the rest in the market because of the enhanced quality it offers. Leupold is built to last and for this, you may have to spend a bit more than usual. In my opinion, a priced scope will definitely be a better pick than a cheap one. Though the ball is in your court now, try Leupold once. Try to get a first-hand experience of this magic. Off you go now. Go grab the best deal in the market and shoot away. Happy Hunting to you!