Leupold VX-R 4-12x50mm Riflescope Review

Leupold VX-R 4-12x50mm Riflescope

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- Illuminated FireDot reticle
- State-of-the-art argon/krypton fogproofing and waterproofing
- Clear, crisp image throughout the magnification range


- Doesn’t include rings, lens caps, or battery
- No parallax adjustment
- Costly investment

Howdy, and thanks for stopping by to read my review of the Leupold VX-R 4-12x50mm Riflescope. Leupold is well-established in the scope business, making products that rival the much more expensive Swarovski. Does the VX-R match that quality, though? Let’s have a look and see for ourselves.

The first thing I have to say is that I was disappointed by what wasn’t included in the box. No scope rings, no lens cap covers, and no battery for the illuminated reticle. With as much as Leupold charges for this scope, those accessories should have been included.

What Are the Scope’s Dimensions?

This model features a beefy 50mm objective lens, which should allow for plenty of light transmission. It measures just 12.2 inches in length, with an overall diameter of 2.3 inches. The scope isn’t too heavy, either, at just over a pound in weight.

If you’re worried about the scope’s eye relief, don’t. The eyebox is a very comfortable 3.7 inches at maximum magnification to 4.1 inches at minimum power. You’ll have plenty of room between your eyeballs and the scope’s eyepiece.

This model’s exit pupil seems pretty generous, although Leupold doesn’t offer precise dimensions of it.

How Much Magnification Do I Get From the Scope?

The 50mm objective lens doesn’t just increase light transmission, but it also allows for excellent magnification with crystal-clear images. You can adjust the zoom from 4X to 12X, and you’ll get a perfectly contrasted, sharp image across all levels of magnification.

How is the Optics Quality on the Riflescope?

Leupold has used its own proprietary method to fully multicoat the optics here, providing you with an HD-quality image that, I dare to say, even rivals the legendary Swarovski scopes. You get the same quality of image that you’d enjoy from a $2,000+ scope at a fraction of the price. It doesn’t matter whether you’re shooting in broad daylight or in the wee hours of the morning, you’ll have stunning clarity and razor-sharp detail with this scope.

One thing I love about Leupold’s scopes is the index-matched coatings. The manufacturer’s engineers specify different coating materials for each lens surface in the riflescope, based on the lens’ index of refraction, placement and function. Each coating is layered to eliminate reflections and maximize light transmission. This gives you unparalleled brightness and extremely sharp resolution across the entire visual field.

Another fantastic feature of some of Leupold’s scopes, including this one, is the blackened lens edges. This reduces unwanted glare and leaves you with a much better contrasted image.

What’s the Light Gathering Capability Like on the Scope?

With the outstanding fully multicoated optics and the 50mm objective lens, this scope’s transmittance is almost second to none. Heck, it might even be second to none, for that matter. What’s even better is that Leupold’s Ballistic FireDot reticle is illuminated, providing you with a bright red center dot to enjoy during low-light conditions.

The brightness of the illuminated reticle is perfect, and it’s allowed me to take several deer as well as wild boar during extremely low-light, overcast hunting trips. Unfortunately, you don’t get a battery in the box, so make sure you purchase that separately. What you’ll need is a CR2032 lithium coin cell battery.

How Wide is the Field of View?

The field of view of this scope is a bit limited, ranging from 10.4 feet at maximum magnification to 22 feet at 12X power. That’s still plenty of space to spot and take aim on your target, though, even if it’s on the move.

How Easy is the Scope to Mount?

When it comes down to mounting your scope, some models make this a challenge. That’s not the case with the VX-R, although the larger 50mm objective lens might require high-profile rings. That wasn’t the case with my setup, but the clearance between the bottom edge of the scope and the barrel is a bit slim. Unfortunately, Leupold doesn’t include rings with your purchase, so make sure you buy them separately.

Any Tricks or Tips About Mounting the Scope?

No real problems with mounting the scope, as long as you have the right rings for your rifle. This is a fairly easy model to mount, and setting the eye relief is just as simple as it can be.

How Easy is the Leupold Rifleman 3-9x50mm Riflescope to Sight In?

Once you’ve got it mounted, it’s time to start sighting in your scope. This proved to be a bit of a chore for me, since the first model I received had some problems with the windage and elevation controls. When I’d adjust the elevation, the windage would change, as well. Leupold quickly changed out scopes for me, and I didn’t have that problem anymore.

Make sure you start out with a laser bore-sighting tool, since that will save you time and valuable ammunition. Once you’ve got your scope sighted in, you should be good to go for years. The windage and elevation controls stay zeroed almost forever, unless you remove the scope and then remount it.

How Durable is the Scope?

Leupold pioneered the process of nitrogen-purging optics chambers to make them fogproof, and the company has gone a huge stop beyond that with this model. Instead of using nitrogen, Leupold has engineered a proprietary blend of argon and krypton, nearly eliminating the effect of thermal shock. Plus, since the argon and krypton molecules are larger than nitrogen molecules, you have much less problem with the gases diffusing within the optics chamber.

In addition to charging the chamber with the argon and krypton gases, Leupold has sealed the lenses with O-rings. The end result is a product that is both waterproof and fogproof.

Next up, durability. The scope is built from 6061-T6 aircraft-quality aluminum, making it quite durable and shock-proof. This is a pretty much bullet proof product that should last forever.

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Leupold VX-R 4-12x50mm Riflescope Review Summary

Thanks for reading my review of the Leupold VX-R 4-12x50mm riflescope. While it’s an expensive investment that doesn’t include lens caps, a battery, or rings, this is still an outstanding product. You get an illuminated reticle, perfectly-matched optics coatings, and a crystal-clear image that is almost guaranteed to help you fill your freezer during hunting season.

Conclusion Rating
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Durability: Rating Rating Rating Rating Rating
Ease of Sighting-In: Rating Rating Rating Rating Rating
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Jeff Byrnes

This post was written by

Hi there! I’m Jeff, an avid outdoorsman and hunter who really likes exploring new technology. I’m especially into hunting optics, which is why I’m writing these reviews! I hope you find my articles helpful in your own shooting and hunting.

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