Leupold Vari-X III 4.5-14x50 Long Range Tactical


Jun 4, 2001
Cooperstown, ND. USA
I am in the market for a new scope, and would like to pose a few questions to the board about the above model.

First and foremost, how is the click repeatability of this scope, or any other Leupold in the Tactical line? There's no need to question the optical clarity, I own enough Leupolds to know it will be excellent. Is this scope capable of shooting a square, and coming back to zero without a lot of backlash?

Second, the Leupold brochure states the point of impact will not change as the scope goes through the power range. Does anybody have an real world experience in this?

I've been playing with a 10X Tasco Sniper Scope for a little over a year now, and have been fairly impressed with the optics and adjustments. True, the clarity is not a Leupold, but for a low end scope, it's pretty good. And the click adjustments are right on the money. Crank it 20 minutes up, shoot, crank it back down, right on zero. Not bad.

Your input would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, Clint Starke.
Hello Clint,
I just bought that exact model with MIL dots. I have only fired about 50 rounds through it but am heading out for some fun on thursday and saturday. I will do the test you describe, and let you know. I have a MK 4 16X that is repeatable in the extreme, hence I bought another Leupold. I don't doubt the LRT in the least, I did a test with the MK 4, shot a group, came up 80 clicks, shot a group and came back down, it over lapped the group. When I did the math on the point of impact change for the 80 clicks, it was EXACTLY .25 MOA or .262" per click!
Thanks Steve, your results and input will be appreciated. There's no doubt the Mark 4's are great scopes, I'm hoping the LRT has the same qualities.

A close second choice would be the 3.5 X 10 LR M1 with dots. The loss of 4X on the top end is not that much of an issue, and I would prefer the 40mm objective end of the 3.5 X 10 as opposed to the 50mm on the 4.5 X 14.

On the other hand, there's alway a time and a place where a few additional X's on the top would sure be handy.

Decisions, decisions. Thanks again, Clint.

I've had several of the 4.5 x 14 LRT models, I had one modified by Premier with Mark 4 turrets. The scopes are very nice but like you noted the 50mm objective is a little big. I currently have a 4.5 x 14 LRT Mil-Dot on my 300 Win mag and have a 3.5 x 10 M1 LR on my 338 RUM. I like the 3.5 x 10 M1 LR because of the smaller scope but it's a little more difficult to judge deer with, the 4x extra on the 4.5 x 14 is nice. (I use the Mil-Dot to measure the spread and tine length on the deer I scout, I verify range with a laser and then back-convert the Mil reading for inches of length.)

I have a 3.5 x 10 M3 LR on my 308, it's very nice but for very distant shots there is always the desire for 1/4 MOA 'clicks' vice the full MOA. The great thing about the 3.5 x 10 M3 LR is that you'll NEVER be off on the elevation by a full turn or two.

As to repeatability, I've used many of the Leupold scopes and haven't been bothered by any inability due to repeatability. They work very well and are pretty tough.

Any scope that has a non-magnifying reticle will be more prone to shifts in POI at a set distance when changing the power settings, no matter what company makes the scope. It is quite simply a design flaw. For most practical shooting I doubt this "shift" means much. For bench rest shooters (100 & 200 yards) it means a lot. Thats one reason why bench rest shooters use fixed power scopes, most of them anyhow.

A scope with a magnifying reticle is less prone to POI shift when going through the power range at a set distance.

It's to bad most Americans prefer the non-magnifying reticle.

Just some additional info that may influence your buying decisions.

Just to "muddy the water" I suggest that you also look at the Nightforce NXS 5.5-15 x 50, similar magnification but a vastly different scope as far as optics and turrets. Cost a bit more but you get what you pay for.
Thank you to all who posted replies to my inital question. I've made a decision and purchase based partly on what was read here.

A Nightforce scope was considered with a Mark 4 16X M1 a close second. In all honesty, those optics just don't fit my budget at this time. The Leupold Vari X's were more in line with what I was willing to invest.

That narrowed the choice down to a 4.5-14 or a 3.5-10. After a lot of consideration and research, I've opted for the Long Range 3.5-10 M1 with mil dots. True, I'm giving up 4x in magnification, but feel the M1 knobs (which, to the best of my knowledge, are not available on the 4.5-14) and the 40mm bell are more suited to the rifle's intended use. The scope is mounted on a 6/250, not a true long range caliber, so the small loss of power is not that big a deal. I've also never felt hindered with a lower powered scope under most field conditions.

The scope has been in use now for about a week, and to say that I'm pleased is an understatment. Clarity is what I've come to expect from upper end Leupolds, and the overall appreance and heft of the scope indicates it's made for some rough treatment. Click repeatability appears to be right on the money. The only issue left to be resolved will hopefully be taken care this weekend when I get my first pair of glasses. The peepers are getting old.

Thanks again for the input. Clint Starke.
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