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Leupold or Sightron???

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Unread 03-03-2009, 09:55 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Great Falls, MT
Posts: 9,807
Re: Leupold or Sightron???

I know you said VX-III but the VX-IIIs of the past are not the same as the newly re-designed VX-3s ...they've upgraded it with optical technology: Xtended Twilight Lens System, DiamondCoat 2 lens coating, blackened lens edges, second generation waterproofing, twin bias spring erector system, and cryogenically treated adjustments ... now similar to that of Mark 4s.

As Ernie noted, Mark 4's optics are superior.

Good luck in your decision!


I voted for my "FREEDOM", "GUNS", and "MONEY" - keep the change - UNK.

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Unread 03-03-2009, 10:25 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: MS
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Re: Leupold or Sightron???

Yall hve me wanting to give sightron another look. Anybody with any feedback on the customer service. I was using a local dealer with the last sightrons I dealt with. He took 3 back within a week before refunding my purchase price. Maybe they have sorted things out, any other opinions on them?
I admit that I know just enough to be dangerous.....but dangerous at ever extending distances.
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Unread 03-03-2009, 10:36 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 125
Re: Leupold or Sightron???

Thanks for all the GREAT information fellas.. This have been a great topic and please keep them coming. From the numerous posts I have read the SIII is a TOTALLY different beast than the SII. The glass and quality is suppose to be much better with the SIII. I have read bad reviews for the SII but not the SIII. My decision is still up in the air. Wish I could put a Sightron in my hand and then decide. THe outer appearance of the Leupold is a big plus... It feels like a solid scope and I know what I am getting. I wonder if the Sightron is as solid and feels like a well made scope or does it feel more plastic? We'll see how it goes... I will decide one day.. ha..

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Unread 03-03-2009, 10:46 PM
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Wyoming
Posts: 2,839
Re: Leupold or Sightron???

I am convinced the S-3 is a solid scope. The only negative I have found thus far, I have already mentioned. We have not done low-light comparisons yet.
I also have one of new VX-3's 8.5-25 LR/T, but didnt have it out yesterday.

All in all we will be comparing current: Mark 4 6.5-20, VX-3 I mentioned above, NF NXS their new FFP 3.5-15, Sightron's 6-24 S-3, and Huskemaw's 5-20.
Once all is said and done, it will be written up.
I am having three other guys give their thoughts on them as well, so it will not be the opinion/eyes of one shooter.

Last edited by Ernie; 03-03-2009 at 11:12 PM.
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Unread 03-03-2009, 11:04 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Pennsyltucky
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Re: Leupold or Sightron???

OK, i've got my laces tied up on my sneekers! DG, look what you started. LOL just buy a Nightforce and you'll have a great feeling scope.
one thing about optics is everyones eyes are different and they see different through each product. i looked through a Mark 4 and an S3 side by side and i would have guessed the Sightron should have cost 300 more. each scope is different also. it would be great if we could look through the scope before we buy but usually we mail order one. Leupold does have great customer service, it's part of their reputation. i recently had an older Sightron not do so well because i lent it to a guy, ah that's another story.anyway, i had nothing but great service from them, as i've heard several say.
i agree with Paul, Leupold has been riding on their "earned" reputation from the past, but several companies have caught and passed them with better products at lower prices. their recent upgrade of the vx111's is an example. more and more people were buying something else.
i guess it's like Ford and Chevy. i drive a Chevy....with a Sightron scope in it!
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Unread 03-03-2009, 11:30 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2005
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Re: Leupold or Sightron???

Originally Posted by dmgreene View Post
What are the others?

David, I was afraid someone would ask.

Here's an evaluation I recently conducted and reported for a LRH forum member .
"Today I compared the SIII 6-24x50mm to a new IOR 3-18x42mm MP-8 and my Zeiss Conquest 4.5-14x44mm Mil-Dot scopes. I conducted an elevation turret test on all three scopes at 100 yds. Then I compared all three scopes for resolution and light transmission at 300 yds in the evening (fading) light. The SIII is hitting on all cylinders and I would rate it the best scope of the three - without regard to cost - provided you're content with that 6-24 power range. Based on cost it's obviously the best buy. Here's how I rated these three scopes. I own all three so there's no pride-of-ownership compromises involved in my evaluation.
1) IOR and SIII equally good at 18X. Then I turned the SIII up to 24X and it maintained excellent resolution and improved my ability to resolve details at 300 yds that I was unable to see at 18X through either the IOR or the SIII. In other words, I felt like I obtained the full benefit of the higher powers available in the SIII. Razor sharp.
2) Zeiss provided less resolution with all three scopes tuned to 14X at 300 yds. Still good, but not as sharp as the IOR and SIII.
Light transmission.
1) SIII - best
2) Zeiss - about midway between the SIII and the IOR.
3) IOR I believe the IOR has some extra lenses in it to provide the 6X power range magnification, and every additional lens will reduce light transmission.
1) Zeiss - 17.5 oz - 1" tube
2) SIII - 21.9 oz - 30mm tube
3) IOR - 28 oz - 35mm tube
Parallax Adjustment.
1) SIII - easiest to adjust, however the adjustment operates at a pretty fast rate.
2) IOR - just about as good as the SIII - operates at a slower rate than the SIII.
3) Zeiss - I've never really cared for the parallax adjustment on my Zeiss. It's OK but sometimes a struggle to know if it's set properly.
1) IOR - Best, I really like the IOR MP-8 reticle.
2) SIII and Zeiss - both standard military Mil-Dot.
1) SIII ~$800
2) Zeiss~$850 w/o or $950 with target turrets
3) IOR ~$1565 w/illuminated reticle
Elevation Turret Test Results.
SIII: 0.273"/click/100yds in both the UP direction & DOWN direction over a distance of 26" at 100 yards. Same value/click/100yds in both the UP and DOWN directions, however different than the advertised 0.25"/click/100yds. This is why an elevation turret test is mandatory prior to putting any scope into action. Now that I know the IPHY click value, I'll be all set.
Zeiss: 0.243"/click/100yds in the UP direction over a distance of 26" and 36" at 100 yards. No DOWN test completed with Zeiss.
IOR: 0.260"/click/100yds in the DOWN direction over a distance of 26" at 100 yards.
0.250"/click/100yds in the UP direction over a distance of 26" at 100 yards.
The IOR yielded a different value per click per 100 yards in the UP direction versus the DOWN direction. My other IOR is dead nuts on - yielding 0.249"/click/100yds in both directions. This was a brand new IOR scope so I will have to conduct the elevation turret test again and make sure I didn't make a mistake with my calculations and determination.

[IN ORDER TO CLARIFY MY ELEVATION TURRET TESTS: All three scope's elevation turrets returned to zero properly. From a set Zero, I turned the turret in the UP direction and then returned back to zero. Then I turned the elevation turret in the DOWN direction followed by a return to zero. The IOR yielded a slightly different click value when turned in the DOWN direction than in the UP direction, however it and both of the other two scopes returned back to their zero setting correctly.]

I haven't shot the SIII yet but others have already confirmed the turrets are repeatable and that the scope is durable. The SIII has as good, or better, of a replacement warranty as the Zeiss or the IOR. If I were to buy another scope today, it would be another SIII 6-24x50mm Mil-Dot. Sightron is supposed to be adding some additional offerings to their SIII line. Whether there will be additional reticle options or power options, we'll have to wait and see. I understood they're expected to be out in the late summer-fall.

Hope this helps you spend your money wisely. For the money, the SIII is a best buy in my book
The Vortex Viper is another scope that's at least as good as a Leupold VX-3 at a lesser cost, and the Vortex also includes a no fault lifetime warranty. You can run over the Vortex Viper with your GM (or Toyota) and return it for a replacement - no questions asked.

One year earlier I compared my Zeiss Conquest to my Leupold VX-3. The Zeiss Conquest smoked the Leupy in resolution and light transmission. It wasn't really even close. And I'm now telling you that the Sightron SIII bested the Zeiss Conquest in both categories in my recent side-by-side field comparison. The Sightron SIII is Sightron's top of the line scope. Comparing it to the SIs or SIIs is like comparing a Leupold Mark 4 to a Leupold VXII. The current limitations in the SIII series (my opinion) are the power range and the reticle options currently available. I'm led to believe some additional SIII options may become available later this year.

Leupold has made a good solid aiming device for many many years, which is why they still enjoy such a strong following. But there are currently a number of new players competing for their customers, and some are producing a better product with an equal warranty, at a lesser cost. Now I'm going to put my camo face paint back on and try to blend into the background noise...
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Unread 03-03-2009, 11:48 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: WI USA
Posts: 410
Re: Leupold or Sightron???

Really??? Leupold - hands down. I cannot say enough about Leupold. Great company and great scopes.
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