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Product Analysis Leupold VXL

Leupold has long been the cutting edge of Rifle Scope technology. They have gained the reputation of being high quality dependable optics which will survive most anything a hunt can deal out. If they don't survive it, the Leupold corporation backs it up with unprecedented service and support. This year, Leupold has raised the bar again by creating a high performance rifle scope which gives all the advantages of the large objective scope with the control and comfort of a low profile. The VX-L is revolutionizing the way we look at rifle scopes.

There is no question the advantages of having a larger objective on a rifle scope are notable. The TLT (total light throughput) is exponentially increased with the size of the lens. The bigger the objective, the more light is transmitted through the riflescope creating a clearer picture. This is especially noticeable when shooting at a high power and when shooting in darker light conditions.

The only major problem with a large objective is the size. A 50 mm front objective requires high mounts in order to have proper alignment and clearance. This results in the shooter having to raise his eye to the level of the scope thus removing cheek weld with the stock and decreasing potential accuracy and stability.

Now we have come to a decision point, do we take the higher objective and have better light transmission but decreased stability or do we take the lower light transmission and have the increased stability. Fortunately, we can now have them both. The Leupold VX-L is revolutionary in its ability to mount a large objective scope on medium to low mounts.

This is achieved by actually changing the structure of the objective lens. Instead of a round lens, Leupold inserted a half oval notch on the bottom to accommodate the barrel. The "optical barrel channel" gives larger objectives clearance to be mounted on standard rings. A 50MM objective VX-L can be mounted on low rings which once only could accommodate objective sizes of the 36 MM or less.

The 56 mm VX-L can be mounted on standard rings which usually accommodated the 40mm objective. I recently was able try one out and loved it! I had excellent field of view, bright sight picture, and the stability of shooting a smaller objective scope. What I was even more surprised by was the FOV and Sight image are round. When looking through the scope, there is no loss of picture where the barrel channel is running. My skeptism on this finally washed away. The Leupold VX-L had gone from what looked to be "broken scope" with a ding in it to a beautiful piece of forward thinking engineering.

I have started stocking them in the store and the response has been overwhelming. In fact, I am waiting for them to come out in a stainless model so I can mount it on my Tikka T3 Stainless Lite in 270. The Leupold VX-L is one of the greatest innovations in Riflescope technology in years.

I look forward to the next great step Leupold decides to pursue.

Kelsey Hilderbrand is an avid shooter, hunter, collector, outdoor writer, and founder of High Mountain Hunting Supply


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