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M.A.T. sparked a question in a recent post. I've shot the Leupold Vari-X III 6.5-20x for very long range accuracy for years and

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  • M.A.T. sparked a question in a recent post. I've shot the Leupold Vari-X III 6.5-20x for very long range accuracy for years and

    M.A.T. sparked a question in a recent post. I've shot the Leupold Vari-X III 6.5-20x for very long range accuracy for years and can't imagine the newer VX-3 being better but haven't shot it and would like feedback. Is there an accuracy difference in these scopes? Is it just a shorter way to say the same thing with less printing? Does one have superior accuracy? What are your thoughts?

  • #2
    The two scopes are different scopes, but some people call the Vari-X III a VX-3, or vice versa, out of confusion. The Vari-X III is the first model of Leupold's line of "3s", which consists of the Vari-X III(discontinued) which was upgraded to VX-III(also discontinued) in 2004 and then the VX-III was upgraded to the current VX-3. Each upgraded model had better glass, better internal components and was manufactured better and more efficiently than the previous model. While the Vari-X III and VX-III scopes are fine scopes they just aren't as good, or worth a much as the VX-3.

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    • #3
      I have a Vari-X III and a new VX-3 and the newer one shows a marginal improvement in clarity in daylight but a more noticeable improvement in very low light. Of course that is when my eyes are working.
      DakotaMan what makes a scope accurate? I have always assigned that quality to rifles and to shooters but not to scopes. Reliable, rugged, repeatable, etc. but I sense from many of your posts that you use your scopes in a quite different way than I do. I need mine to stay on zero but I never fiddle with elev./windage in the field and very, very rarely adjust the magnification above the lowest setting on variable scopes. Anyway just curious what your looking at when you make that evaluation.

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      • #4
        you're
        (stupid homonyms, it has been a long week)

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        • #5
          Chuckles,
          The reason you see better light transmition in low light conditions with your VX-3 over your Vari-X III is because of Leupold's Fully Multicoated DiamondCoat2 lenses and they're Xtended Twilight Lense System which the Vari-X III had neither of. The Xtended Twilight Lense System is... Well I'll just let Leupold tell you themselves:
          "Xtended Twilight Lens System

          Now your hunt can reach further into the twilight than ever before possible, with our exclusive new Xtended Twilight Lens System™. It goes a step further than even the Index Matched Lens System®, using Leupold’s® index matched glass with wavelength specific lens coatings designed to optimize the transmission of low-light wavelengths. When most scope manufacturers quote percentage of light transmission, they usually mean at 550 nm, the green wavelength where the human eye is most sensitive. The challenge is that in twilight conditions, green light disappears and blue/violet light takes over. Your eye is already handicapped when it comes to seeing the blue/violet spectrum, and if your scope is cutting too much of it out, soon you won’t be seeing anything. The Xtended Twilight Lens System places extra emphasis on matching coatings to glass indices to achieve the best possible transmission of the blue/violet spectrum, without sacrificing the color balanced light transmission across the visual spectrum of the Index Matched Lens System. When we combine that with superior computer-generated optical design, lead-free lenses of unsurpassed clarity and quality, and 100 years of manufacturing excellence, you have a scope that gives you the details of low-light scenes in greater definition and luminance than any other scope in the world."

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          • #6
            Better grab one of those accurate VX-3s so it will shoot .005 MOA......

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            • #7
              WAM you are shorting yourself a decimal place. Your serious shooter is looking for those extra whiskers on a gnats a$$. But that's probably the best you can do with all that free bore in your Weatherbys. Sloppy

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              • #8
                Chuckles you make me....... well, chuckle.

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                • #9
                  I suppose there could be a difference in the accuracy of the adjustments in the turrets. Just sayin.'

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                  • #10
                    MAT, by the time you take that night shot I will be back at camp having a cool one, waiting for supper to be ready. Good Luck

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                    • #11
                      I've shot the Vari-X IIIs and they are a repeatable scope. A scope doesn't make a rifle more accurate, it makes it possible for the shooter to get the best accuracy out of the rifle by eliminating aiming error.

                      Optical coating technology has advanced over the years, but really... when is the last time you missed your target and it was because of some sort of scope failure? Also, remember that a lot of 'advances' in scope technology are really manufacturing advances where the factory has been able to reduce the cost of making something without adversely affecting performance.

                      In short, I'd always buy the latest PROVEN version of a product given that there wasn't a significant difference in price... but I'd take a brand-new Vari-X III as a gift and be perfectly happy with it.

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                      • #12
                        To clarify, I don't think the Vari-X III is a bad scope, I'm just saying Vari-X III and VX-3 are different scopes.

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                        • #13
                          So I got both rifles out to do a comparison after the posting above. (any excuse to fondle is a good excuse) There is a definite difference but I suppose one should expect improvement over 20+ years. The Vari-XII was the first scope I bought and it has survived numerous mountain tumbles and one free fall from a treestand without ever varying from zero. Don't know if that makes it accurate but it is a good reason to stick with Leupold.

                          PHW- Thank you sir. They say laughter is the best medicine and my experience has been that life requires one heck of a lot of medicine.
                          A merry Christmas to you and yours and to all the rest of you!

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                          • #14
                            Chuckles- A merry Christmas to you and yours also. Ive told a white Christmas lie that I'm sure my better half will soon call me out on; While searching for a Christmas tree behind the ranch in bitterly cold temperatures, we were having a hard time finding a Balsam Fir tree like we were used to having back in Maine. The further we walked into the mountains, the more evident it became that the most shapely tree we would see on our adventure was a Cedar that sat not 300 ft from the parked truck. With no more a-do, we walked back and harvested the Cedar tree. The following morning a neighboring rancher drove over to chat while we were working cows and wouldn't you know it, in the bed of his truck sat two of the prettiest Balsam Firs I've ever seen. Luckily my wife was across the way dallied off to a mean little steer and I was able to avoid death (she takes her Christmas tree seriously) for the time being.

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                            • #15
                              Thanks all. My primary concern is the long range accuracy difference. I wondered if anyone had shot long range prairie dogs or targets and noticed a difference in them. I know that Leupold improved the clarity and contrast in the VX-3 but I've heard through the grape vine that they lost accuracy in the process. I just don't know if that is true and hoped someone might have tested it. Although I care about low light in deer and coyote hunting, I don't care about it in my long range target and p-dog rifles. I only shoot them in good light.

                              A scope surely DOES contribute a LOT to long range accuracy. If your rifle shoots perfectly but the lens twists the image to look like it is two inches further to the left than it actually is, you will miss. Due to parallax, some scopes may vary target appearance from shot-to-shot as you move your eye slightly behind the scope.

                              At 500 meters I can put a different comparably priced scope on and double or triple my group size because of it. Various scopes react differently to mirage too. Some are bad enough that they make a 3 inch dot at 1000 yards look like it is jumping up and down or moving around in circles as you aim at it. I've had two scopes of the identical model from the same manufacturer vary by that amount too.

                              Scope accuracy makes little difference if you are trying to plug a deer at 100 yards but if you are shooting p-dogs at 1000 yards you can't tolerate much error. These accuracy issues also manifest themselves much more at higher magnification, so someone shooting a 3-9x won't even experience these. Unfortunately, if you are trying to shoot a p-dog at 1000 yards with one, you won't be able to see the p-dog either.

                              I find it interesting that when reviewers evaluate scopes they don't test accuracy. But I understand it is much more difficult to do that than it is to look through two scopes side-by-side to see which is more clear. I usually shoot at least 10 three shot groups to evaluate a scope. My Vari-x III shoots well. It shoots down to .1MOA at 100 yards. I just want one with a matte finish and I'm wondering if the new version might be at least as accurate or do I need to buy a Nightforce.

                              The big shooters winning the national F-Class meets typically use NightForce Bench Rest 12-45s. As great as Nikons are for deer hunting, I guarantee you could not get an F-class shooter to use one in competition. There is a reason for that.

                              Thanks for your comments and have a Merry Christmas all.

                              Comment

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