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Leupold or Sightron???

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Unread 03-04-2009, 10:43 PM
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Wyoming
Posts: 2,787
Re: Leupold or Sightron???

Originally Posted by Buffalobob View Post

Here is a list of things to think about when you check these scopes. I have probably forgotten a few things but it is some of the things about scopes.

1. Comparing scopes of different objective size is apples to oranges.

2. Exit pupil has little meaning but lots of people like talk about it.

3. As mentioned, the power multiplication should be the same or else expect to take it into a consideration as a compromise

4. The most critical aspect of dealing with a scope is to get a good focus with the eyepiece. Looking through a scope without a perfect adjustment of the eye piece is useless. Itís like taking a reading test with someone elseís glasses. Typically it takes me about half an hour to get a perfect focus. I like to use pine needles on a tree and dead twigs. If you can sort out individual pine needles at over 1000 yards then you have the blue green wavelenght transmission well in hand. If the brown twigs resolve well then you have the middle of the other end of the spectrum.

5. Visible light runs from red to blue so to check both ends of the scopes color transmission use some blue painters tape and some thing similar in red. Put this out about 500 yards or more and then see if it shades away into green or orange and or if both are equally sharp- unless you are good with colors you might need a woman to check this issue. You can look at it centered in the scope and then at the edge but remember you are dealing with a rifle scope not a spotting scope so edge is not as important as the center. The edge of the tape is where you will notice a color shift. I pretty much guarantee you that it will be there so look for it- there are no perfect optics.

6. Check the scopes in full daylight and then at 30 minutes after sunset or if you are an early riser before sunrise. I actually think morning is better because the ground in not hot and still causing mirage and you can work until the mirage gets to bad.

7. All scope should have a sun shade or none should.

8. Be careful about reflections up from surfaces such as a table or truck hood or even a stainless steel barrel. If necessary get some flat black cloth or paper to absorb and block reflections.

9. You will need a grid or else a set of perpendicular lines to check for astigmatism and for distortion. The grid needs to run through the entire field of view.

10. If the scopes have different power ranges select a common low power and a common high power. Do not use the max nor minimum of a scope, instead stay at least one whole power away from the each end of the magnification range. All optical devices are compromises and typically you detect the compromise at the extremes and the scopes perform best in the middle of their range.

11. Almost any cheap scope will look good out to about 300 yards. It is the 800 yard to 1500 yards that separates the quality of the optics.
I appreciate the suggestions-Thanks!
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Unread 03-04-2009, 11:21 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Alaska
Posts: 4,618
Re: Leupold or Sightron???


This isn't apples to apples. I'm saying the Sightron SIII smokes the Leupold VX-3 for the same cost. I would be willing to pay 50% more to obtain the Sightron SIII (if that were the going price and a VX-3 was my only other option) above and beyond the cost of Leupold VX-3. However the SIII costs about the same (based on your cost quote - I don't track Leupy cost or values, except to sell my used ones). In addition, Leupold is not the sole source of competent rifle scopes.

The Vortex Viper is the equal of the Leupold VX-3 for $500. Hey - If it's important, you could always write "Leupold" on the Viper with a permanent felt pen and wrap a piece of gold-colored tinsel around the objective. Maybe cover it with a Leupold embroidered ScopeCoat too.
Vortex Viper 6.5-20x50 PA Riflescope
Magnification How many times larger an object is magnified versus the naked eye. 6.5-20x
Objective Lens Diameter The diameter of the light-gathering lens expressed in millimeters. The larger the number the better the resolution and the more light the optic lets in. 50mm
Linear FOV at 100 Yards The linear field of view at the widest dimension of the circular viewing area at 100 Yards away. 17.4-6.2 feet
Eye Relief Eye relief refers to the distance images are projected from the ocular lens to their focal point. 3.3-3.1 inches
Tube Size 30mm
Reticle Styles V-Plex Wide
Dead-Hold BDC
Target Dot
Mil Dot

Turret Style Tall Target
Adjustment Graduation 1/4 MOA
Max Internal Elevation Adjustment 68 MOA
Max Internal Windage Adjustment 68 MOA
Parallax Setting 50 to Infinity yards
Optical Coatings Fully multi-coated
Length 14.4 inches
Waterproof Yes
Fog Proof Argon gas
Color Black
Finish Matte
Weight 21.6 ounces
SKU Stock Keeping Unit VPR-M-06FP
MSRP (USD) Manufacturers Suggested Retail Price (US Dollars) $589.00
Commonly available for $500.00


"Vortex pledges this Very Important Promise to you, a Very Important Person, and that's why we call it the VIP warranty. In the event that your Vortex product requires service, no matter the cause*, Vortex Optics will repair or replace the product at no charge to you.

**The VIP warranty does not include occurrences of loss, theft, deliberate damage, nor damage as a result of unauthorized repair, modification, or disassembly. Vortex Optics reserves the right to replace warranted products with a product of similar value and/or specifications in the event that the original product is no longer manufactured or has been discontinued. There are no warranty cards to fill out, and the VIP warranty is completely transferable.
David: I may be reading it wrong, but your post comes off as presumptive that I owe you a more complete answer or explanation. Understand that I'm much more concerned with the scope I use than the one(s) you choose/use. I used Leupold scopes for more than 25 years. Leupold doesn't need to change anything and they'll keep selling scopes based on their longevity, reputation, and brand name alone for many years, in spite of the fact that there are better values available. They'll have some time to up the quality of the glass in their optics before they lose a serious percentage of scope sales to the competition. But they drag their feet too long and their market position could suffer.

I've completed my scope research for the time being. Leupold's brand name, legacy, or products don't currently equate to compelling value in light of my research and side by side product comparisons. You can always research this further on your own.

All in all, it may simply be less complicated or emotional to just stick with the Leupies.

Last edited by phorwath; 03-05-2009 at 03:23 AM.
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Unread 03-05-2009, 12:19 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Wampum, PA
Posts: 1,530
Re: Leupold or Sightron???

Originally Posted by jmason View Post
Ernie was this a 2008 model or newer SIII? I only ask because the glass that's getting good reviews in the SIII line is only in the 2008 model year and newer SIII.

Yo! Ernie
"I may be dumb, but I'm not stupid." - Terry Bradshaw
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Unread 03-05-2009, 04:32 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 636
Re: Leupold or Sightron???

Hi everyone..... I have been reading this forum for some time now but have never made a post until now. I just bought a sightron sIII 6-24x50 from a friend of mine. It was brand new in the box still wrapped and never opened. He has had the scope since late 2007, which he bought for a gun project that he has never got around to. He new I wanted a good scope in that power range so he told me to give him half of the 800 bucks that he paid for it and I could have it ( he doesn't need the money, trust me). So yesterday I took the scope out to a 400 yard range to check it out. I brought my 100 dollar bushnell banner 6-18x50 with me, that is on my hunting rifle, for comparison. To say I am not pleased is an understatement. The scope is relatively unusable past 16 power. At the higher power range the scope almost completely blacks out and is very difficult to obtain a sight picture. I set both scopes on 18 power and looked at the 300 yard target. The view between the two scopes was virtually identical, however, the bushnell had a longer eve relief and had a larger field of view. The bushnell cost me 120 bucks and is just as good of a scope, that is sad. I hear the new LR models are better, don't seem that they can get much worse. The warranty card is in the box and I am going to send it back, hopefully it was just something wrong with this scope. I hope their warranty is as good as everyone says or I am going to be stuck with a 400 dollar piece of junk. I had my mind set on a 4200 6-24x50 and am already regretting not buying it.
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Unread 03-05-2009, 06:12 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Alaska
Posts: 4,618
Re: Leupold or Sightron???

You may just be able to take it to a Sightron dealer and exchange it for a new scope. At the 2009 Shot Show in Orlando this year, that's what the Sightron folks at the Sightron booth told me about their warranty policy. Tell the dealer a Leupold VX-3 was clearer and sharper than the Sightron SIII and they'll probably hand you a new scope.

Last edited by phorwath; 03-06-2009 at 03:03 AM.
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Unread 03-05-2009, 10:03 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Rexburg, Idaho
Posts: 26
Re: Leupold or Sightron???

I have owned and used both a late model Sightron SIII 6-24x50 ie: made before 2008; and a new model made since 2008. I owned them both at the same time and compared the two.

The new Sightron SIII that has been available since about May of 2008 is a totally different scope. The old one did have dark optics past about 16 power; but, the new one is way better. It is bright and clear all the way up to 24 power. I feel it is very comparable to a Nightforce optically. It has very good contrast and clarity.

It also tracks dead on. I did not like my older model SIII; but, I love my new one!! Beware of buying a new in the box SIII though because there are still new in the box ones left on the market of the old one. The two scopes look a lot different so you can tell the new ones apart by looking at what is currently shown on their website.
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Unread 03-05-2009, 10:46 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Alaska
Posts: 4,618
Re: Leupold or Sightron???

Good information. That may help others to avoid this poor chap's predicament. He may still be able to recoup his value under the Sightron warranty.

My SIII is the equal of my two IORs in resolution, and I have it by good word that IORs have better glass (resolution) than NightForce NXSs. I won't bet the farm on that because I've never personally compared the IOR and NightForce side by side, but more people than not that have conduted this comparison have provided me feedback that the IOR has better glass - the NightForce better mechanicals.

Have you performed resolution and light transmission testing with your SIII head to head with a similar NightForce NXS product?

Some more scoop on the Sightron SIII and when the upgraded SIIIs hit the market at this web link:

Last edited by phorwath; 03-06-2009 at 03:03 AM. Reason: Add link to SIII review
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