Leupold VX-6 3-18X50 questions


Well-Known Member
Nov 14, 2009
Has anyone used this scope? I cannot find one in my area to check out but it might be just what I have been looking for? Any iformation or reviews would be appreciated, I am looking to put it on a 338RUM for use from 50-1,000 yards.
I will definitely be buying TWO for myself as an early Christmas presents, one for my .300 Weatherby & one for my .338-.378. Sadly they didn't appear in stock in time to get one for my Idaho hunt — that I leave for tomorrow.

The next (and last) VX-6 scheduled to roll out is a 4-24x52. That looks like a better fit for the ranges you'll be shooting, but 3-18 is still a sweet setup.

These should force the price down on Swarovski's Z6i scopes. The 3-18x50 Leupold with an illuminated reticle is $1200 while the 3-18x50 Swarovski with an illuminated reticle is $3400. I love Swarovski optics, but there isn't THAT much of a difference!
Mine fianlly got here yesterday, and I just finished mounting it. Originally, I had intended to do a proper review of the scope and get all the measurements, but I was too excited and forgot to weigh it before I mounted it. Let's just say weight is "reasonable."

No big deal, I am sure Leupold will get specs posted soon, even though they aren't available yet.

Overall, I am very impressed. I haven't put it through its paces yet in a low-light situation, but it seems to gather light nearly as good my dad's Swaro z6, at half the price.

So far, I have only three complaints that are fairly insignificant

1. The diameter of the eyepiece is 42mm, which is around 2.25mm larger than Leupold's "standard eyepiece" size. Obviously, this probably improves performance, but the Alumina eyepiece cover I bought wouldn't fit, nor do they make one that will. Also, Butler Creek (oddly enough) doesn't make a propper size either. So as far as I can tell, if you want to protect it with a flip-up eyepiece cover, you're SOL for now.

2. The magnification switch is not as smooth as I would like. This might improve over time as it gets broken in, but right now, it's tighter in some places and looser in others.

3. The power button for reticle illumination seems flimsy. It's basically a rubber pressure switch positioned in the center of the parallax adjustment. And, while I don't expect any problems with this in the near future, it definately doesn't seem like something that was designed to last a lifetime, especially if it undergoes frequent use.

Other than that, it's the typical value and quality you'd expect from a high-end (non tactical) Leupold. I'd take two of these over one Swaro Z6 any day.

After receiving a fully Custom .30-06 Rem 700 for Christmas, I started shopping really nice rifle scope products currently available to compliment my new hunting rifle. I've looked through several high end Schmidt & Bender and other high end scope products, but backed away due to the "price of admission"! I received my rifle with an 8 year old Leupold VX-III 3.5-10 50mm, that although was put through field in-use torture test, still looked new, functioned perfectly and still had great optics. So I continued my research in the Leupold product line of optics.

Now at 59, my eyesight isn't what it use to be. Looking for a longer reach in optics, I discovered the new line of Leupold VX-6 6:1 Zoom 3-18 power scopes! With the latest optical technical developments incorporated into the VX-6 line, along with a wide 6x variable zoom capability, I found the scope to fit my needs well. I delayed my purchase a few months, waiting for some field reviews to appear on the net, but guess it is too new as very few are out there as of my review here. Well, with the satisfaction I previously had with Leupold products, their great industry reputation, the Lifetime Warranty and the Made In The USA label, I made the purchase, literally, sight unseen!

The Leupold #115005 VX-6 3-18 50mm with Fine Duplex Reticle arrived in perfect condition. I choose a professional aluminum rail and mount system from Seekins Precision and bore sighted the scope at 50 yds. With the full 18 power zoom, I can now more accurately setup to 100yd. target. Shooting the re-load ballistics I settled on before, I was able to shoot a 5-round grouping of .242", or 1\4 MOA at 100 yards!! I'll be working up longer range ballistic data to submit to Leupold for my CDS (custom dial system) elevation turret that is a feature of this scope purchase. If I'm going to deer hunt, I want all my kills to be Accurate and Swift!

The 20.4oz scope weight allows me to easily handle my overall rifle assembly. I find the eye relief close to 6"(3 power) and a respectable 4" at full 18 power. Throughout the variable power zoom, the sight image is Very Bright, Clear and Sharp edge to edge. Color renditions are true and accurate as per available light. All control functions (diopter, zoom, turrets) are Tight and Precise. I thought there would be audible clicks to elevation and windage adjustments, but I guess being a hunting scope, they are quiet but positive. The side focus Parallax control works very well and smooth, keeping the reticle plane solid at distance while moving your head around the field of view. During late dusk, towards a large dark silhouetted oak tree with only a dim blue sky background, this Leupold was able to differentiate at 18 power the leaves and branches, details I couldn't see myself! The fine duplex reticle assist in excellent shot placement without being intrusive or detracting in the field of view.

In June, I went to the range with my re-loads and shot exact elevation adjustments out to 600yds (200-300-400-500-600). During this long range activity, my 3 - 600yd shots (1st time at over 100yd load work) were..."2" X ring (3" center) and "1" 10 ring (6" center) for an overall 1\2 MOA !!! The Clarity, Sharpness and Brightness (98% light transmission) of my new Leupold VX-6 3-18x50mm 6X power zoom range was valuable assistance in making such long range shot accuracy. I then sent Leupold my specific custom ballistics and have already received back my Custom CDS elevation dial. No need to count the 1\4 MOA clicks, just read the clear yardage turret (in 15 to 10 yd increments) and set up the shot from 100 out to 775yds...Deer will never know what him em'!! gun)

Overall, this isn't an inexpensive scope, but certainly not at the top end optic price points. I feel my research and wait has paid off in a Well Built, High Performance, Competitive Priced Investment that should last me my lifetime in our American Hunting Sport! :D

Hope the above info helps with any decision making!

I have this scope as well. I bought the 3x18x44 for ease of scabbard carry. I found it to be all that you say it is. Very nice addition to my semi custom 300WM. The power adjustment gets smoother in time. I think I want to order the windage turret from Kenton Industries when it's available. I think the 18 power is plenty out to 800+ yards which is a very long shot for me or most anyone . There's always a better scope out there if you want to spend twice + the money.

I have 3 of these scopes and purchased mine based on the heavier reticles I needed to be able to see. I have had numerous eye surgeries and normal reticles are usually blurry. The pros: great GLASS, I really like the illumination feature that cuts itself off when not used. Eye relief on heavy recoilers is great and weight is manageable.
Cons: I had to send the last one I purchased back to Leupold. IT would not track consistently when using the turrets. At each yardage the first shot would be 6-8 inches high and 3-4 inches left consistently all the way out to 525yds. Leupold fixed it promptly and it seems fine now.
Con 2: In late Aug I was fortunate to go to New Mex for an antelope hunt. I used my 264 Win mag and finally got a shot on a goat at 653yds....the crosshair almost covered the full width of the goat. It was just too thick. I killed the goat but was less than happy with the reticle width on 18 power.
You might want to consider these pros and cons. I have both the illuminated duplex and the B&C illuminated reticle models. If I were to order another it would be not illuminated and fine duplex. But I really need something over 20x on the top end.

Just my two cents worth,...
I have both the illuminated duplex and the B&C illuminated reticle models. If I were to order another it would be not illuminated and fine duplex. But I really need something over 20x on the top end.



For your reasons above, I had purchased the non-illuminated VX-6 115005 Fine Duplex 3-18x50 so that the reticle wouldn't overshadow either long range or up close small target POI acquisition.

I was on my 2nd deer hunt in Jan 14' (saw no deer beginning of season). My 1st evening hunt Really validated the performance of my VX-6. It was 2 minutes before the end of daylight, the woods had turned black and the sky was no longer blue (extreme dusk). I was ready to unload and call it a day when I thought I sensed movement 100 yds away. I glassed with my BX-3 binos, barely spotting a big doe feeding. Even thought the FOV was black as night, when I brought up my rifle the VX-6 Illuminated her brilliant coat (background still dark) as if she were plugged in like a Christmas Tree! No long range shot, but the extreme brilliance and color of the Leupold VX-6 enhanced "special coatings" made taking my first game swift and quick! I still find it hard to believe that I could see every hair, every muscle group and detailed positioning with visual ease...the VX-6 is That Good!!! I can't imagine Any other rifle scope doing it better.
I agree with your assessment of the glass, its better than just very good! I am not a fan of 50mm and larger objectives on a hunting rig, the 44 is bigger than I want but we don't have a lot of choice with these particular scopes.
As soon as I can get some extra money I am going to purchase the March 2.5x24x42. It is lighter than the Leupold, higher power and supposed to be Alpha glass. If it will be as good as the VX6 I will be happy.
Since the March already has great glass at 42mm I am sure the 50 would be better, but, as I mentioned its the weight I want to get away from . The bigger the objective the more it weighs and the more top heavy the rifle becomes. I will stick with the 42 mm.
As soon as I can get some extra money I am going to purchase the March 2.5x24x42. It is lighter than the Leupold, higher power and supposed to be Alpha glass. If it will be as good as the VX6 I will be happy.


If weight is a high priority, then the March 2.5-25x42 is actually heavier (by an ounce) than the VX-6 115005 50mm objective (btw, the VX-6 115001 44mm obj. is 3 ounces lighter than the March 42mm).

I've no doubt the March has great glass, but I can vouch that the VX-6, at the long range end of 18 power is as clear, sharp, bright and keeps excellent detail edge-to-edge as it does at 3 power. Hopefully the March would be equally to the task throughout its 10X zoom range (WOW). However, for all of its performance and at $1K less than the March, the VX-6 really comes in at a great value in optics!
I can handle one ounce, and yes sir, I can atest to the clarity of the VX6 at 18x since I have 3 and use them almost exclusively now. They are still longer and in my opinion more bulky than the March 42mm. But again you are correct in the price issue, is the March worth $1000 more? As I mentioned in the first post I made about this, one of the VX6s had tracking issues new from the factory. As always, Leupold fixed the problem. I use the turrets and require absolute dependability but a tracking issue leaves little gremlins in the brain...even if it was fixed...
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