02-14-2011, 10:29 PM
Join Date: Aug 2005
My Ride: F30 328i M Sport
| Leupold doesn't make a 1-5x, nor do they make a 1-4x. The erectors on most hunting and all tactical scopes are set at 3x, so the best they can pull is 1.25-4x, or 1.5-5x (actual magnification is 1.5-4.5x according to their website). The VX-7 is the only scope Leupold makes with a 4x magnification erector.
With that being said, back to the matter at hand. Having looked through both, there is little difference between the 33mm and 40mm objective lenses during daylight. In the evening and night you'll see a little difference, but nothing that's that significant. 50mm is a good objective size for evening, twilight and night, but it does take up a lot of space and requires a higher mount. And, to be honest, at $299 you're better off going for the VX-II 3-9x40 than the VX-I 3-9x50. The glass does make that much of a difference.
Ultimately, I think a 3-9x would be just fine. If you want the capability of a longer shot, that 9x on the top end will be a big help. The 3x low end isn't too high, so it's workable for closer shots.
Another thing to consider: Leupold's biggest competitor in the hunting scope market is Nikon. Nikons have excellent full lifetime warranties, just like Leupold. However, Nikon sets itself apart by offering more for less. The Nikon Buckmasters scopes are about equal to the VX-II, but cost a lot less. A Buckmasters 3-9x40 w/ BDC reticle costs $219. They have better light transmission and color fidelity than the Leupold VX-II, but the Leupold has better resolution.
The Nikon Monarch series is almost as good as, if not comparable in most ways to, the Leupold VX-III, but the Monarchs cost the same as the VX-IIs.
Both use Japanese glass, but Nikon has a lot more technology with their glass because of their camera and video division.
I'd recommend you get over to a sporting goods store and compare the Buckmasters vs VX-II and see the difference for yourself. You might be pleasantly surprised by how much you get. You'll basically get a VX-II for the price of a VX-I. Just something to consider.
My dad was on the verge of getting a VX-II for his deer rifle until he looked through a Buckmasters and saw that it was just as good and was roughly 2/3 the cost. From a cost savings standpoint, there's a lot to be said about Nikon.
Now, if you can find an older used Leupold VARI-X I or VARI-X II scope that's stamped "Made in USA", buy it. Those are fantastic.
Check out SampleList.com for some used options. They always have a shlt-ton of Leupys and Nikons.
Last edited by Reedo302; 02-14-2011 at 10:37 PM.