Burris Black Diamond or Leupold?


Oct 27, 2003

I would like to hear feedback on what your experience has been in using the Burris Black Diamond 4X16 T-Plate scopes and the Leupold 4.5X14X50. Pro's and con's of each from your experience. Am considering either one the for a new hunting rig I am haveing built this winter. This is for deer and antelope. Thanks ahead of time for your input and feedback.

Lonnie The Burris has better optics but the
Leupold has more internal adjustment assuming that they are the latest 30mm offering by both. Next time I buy a scope I think I am going with Nightforce. They are expensive but have really nice optics and a large amount of internal adjustment!
I will stick with my Leupold's.

H-BAR im in disagreement with you." Burris's has better optics" Scopes are like barrels you get a good one and one time you get a bad one when it comes to optics. Seems too me that one scope brand to brand will always be clearer then other.
I have owned several Burris's and Niteforces and I will always go back to the good old Leupold's.
When the NXS's first to hit the market I was the first to go out and get me one. It was the first scope I thought was the biggest waste of money. Optics were compared to some scope you would get at the local discount chain for $79.00 I loved the looks and the internal adjustment but the optics basically sucked. Many friends I shoot with also got the NXS's when they hit the marked. They also had trouble with optics and the scope not being able to focus. The sent them back to Niteforce many times and the problem was never corrected. They got refunds for the scopes. As to the Niteforce's the older benchrest models seem to have much better optics than the NXS's. Now these days Niteforce hopefully corrected the problems with the NXS's
Burris's optics from the many I have looked through seems to be good but don't have much internal adjustment! Great for short range work but when it comes to long range work they don't fill the bill.

That's my 2 cents.


[ 10-29-2003: Message edited by: mbianchini ]
gang, let's try to compare apples to apples, or at least the Burris BD 4-16x50 and the Leupold 4.5-14x50 LR.

The BD w/plex reticle is #200954, and has a dealer cost of $509.00 (per Jerry's Sport Center). It has 74 MOA of internal elevation adjustment, and weighs 22.3 ounces.

The Leupold w/plex reticle is #54660, and has a dealer cost of $648.60. It has 75 MOA of internal elevation, and weighs 22 ounces.

Specs per Burris and Leupold websites.

The Burris will have the adjustable objective feature, the Leupold will have the side focus/parallax feature. Both have target knobs.

Is the side focus and Leupold name worth $150 more? You be the judge.

Good luck, whichever you pick.
A bunch of my buddies got signature series scopes and they were very clear especially in the middle of the day you could close the apeture to block out the extra light. The only problem is that every one of those scopes got sent back to Burris because they broke. All scopes were bought at different times and different dealers so I don't think it could be a faulty lot scenario. I personally have look through a lot of Leupolds and happen to own a 8-25x50. This scope is ok but I have better cheaper scopes in my house alone and have seen many better sets of optics. I think that Leupolds older scopes are clearer than the new stuff. I know a few guy that bought these same scopes like mine recently and said the optics aren't that great. Keep in mind that this is a scope that has been properly tuned to my eye with the eyebell. I by far like the Springfield Armory scope that I have. When sat behind both scopes being tuned to the viewers eye I haven't seen anyone say the Leupold was clearer or brighter etc.
The NXS is the best glass that I have looked through so far. I'm not sure why but it's a bit better in my eyes than the NF BR model my dads has. Both are newer models so I can't say about the first ones out on the shelf. I'd look at IOR, as the clarity is said to be top shelf too, but not as expensive as the USO line.

To me, there's more to Leupold than a side focus and a name... it quality, warranty and customer service too, and I'd pay more for that any day.
Burris has yet to prove to me that those are top priorities to them.
Nate, Actually, the 4-16xBD has the side focus too. That'll be the scope I put on my "ROCK" rifle after I get all my pennies saved up.
News flash! Any scope can break, even a Leupold, well, maybe not a US Optics scope

[ 10-29-2003: Message edited by: Jay Gorski ]
Thanks, Jay, I stand corrected. The Burris BD thus is $140 less expensive for what seems to be an extremely similar product.

If it were my money, I spend the savings on ammo, or a first-class set of rings/base, or a year's membership at my local range, etc.

Nothing against Leupold. I have three of their Mark 4 scopes. But I'm a BIG value shopper, and I think dollars spent for performance is clearly in favor of Burris in this instance.

NF proponents, their scopes are WAY heavier, and you cannot convince me that they are worth the extra money because they perform better. They certainly seem to have the very high powered variable market locked up, but rumor has it that Leupold will bring a Mark 4 variable to their line in the near future. That's what makes it a horserace...
They are both great scopes. I don't have the newest diamond coated Black Diamond but have used a 3x-12x for some time and it is very nice. Great image, nice and sharp and bright. Only concern I have is their turrets, they work OK but could be better considering the $ involved and how similar priced competition turrets work. Maybe they have improved turrets, not sure. They now have the third turret for parallax so they have been working on turrets.

Also have shot the Leupold quite a bit and it is a fine scope, little bit short on the tube for scope mounting - depends on your mounts and receiver length. Good optics and very nice turrets, crisp and very accurate, rugged and simple. Easier to zero-up. Get better with use, more snappy.
I would suggest that you also check out a Nikon 4x-16x50 Tactical while you are at it. Might surprise you. Kicks butt.
B/E713, I would have been probably in the same camp (although I'd prefer mac&cheese to PBJ, burned out on them as a kid back before electric lighting, ha ha).

That is, until I saw a Burris scope used by a pal to place very high in a national 1,000y BR match. He had an NF that he wanted to use, but couldn't make Light Gun weight with the beast. So he used a BD 8-32, and 'suffered' with the lower magnification (vs. the NF 12-42).

He shot two of the eight smallest LG groups of the entire match, both of them being under 4.5". He also shot one of the ten smallest HG groups (using the same rifle/scope, too much trouble to change optics during the match) at 7.xx". LG groups are five shots, HG groups are 10 shots.

Of much interest was the fact that he was the ONLY shooter using a Burris of any kind. Everybody else had Leupold, NF, a couple of Tasco 'Custom Shop' setups, and maybe a few other oddballs.

Is it because the BD isn't competitive? No. They just do a lousy marketing job, IMO, and their scopes look (at least used to) sorta clunky and their finish isn't as nice as it should be. But they PERFORM.

So I bought one.

Regarding majority rules mentality, there's nobody else in our Long Range Tactical match near Sacramento who uses a Sightron scope, let alone a 1" tube version. Except me. And I've never finished last, and on occasion I get real lucky if you know what I mean.

Bottom line is we shooters have several excellent options, and it is the nut doing the driving who will make the difference, once the nut has good enough stuff.
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