Ben Ryder 07.02.21
Every year, we have countless products come through our doors for trial and evaluation. From firearms to boots and tents to ATV’s, we really see it all. One of the more common products that we find ourselves reviewing are optics tailor made for hunters. This year, we spent some time with the VX3-HD line from Leupold and absolutely loved it.
One of the most common things I see when talking to friends or acquaintances who hunt or recreationally shoot is that they don’t always know what to buy or worse yet, why they are buying something. Hunting optics seem to be at the top of the list when it comes to impulse buying without research. We have also been conditioned as consumers to believe that a higher price tag equates to higher quality, which is not always the case.
Spending time being honest with yourself as the end user of what you are buying is really important, especially when purchasing optics for your rifle. If you’re a Midwest whitetail hunter, do you really need glass for your rifle that is going to set you back more than $2,000 and sports a Christmas tree reticle and 24X power? No, the reality is, in the Midwest shots beyond 200 yards will be few and far between. A lightweight scope built to withstand your local conditions that has a max power between 8 – 16 will be more than enough to get the job done.
I’m not a precision rifle competitor or someone who hunts 365 days a year, but I have successfully hit steel beyond 1,000 yards and hunted across the country, including Alaska. One thing that I have consistently found out about myself is that the simpler a product is to use, the more likely I am to use it successfully. For me the VX-3HD line from Leupold checks the simple box while offering superior clarity and durability.
In the fall of 2020, I had two scopes from the VX-3HD line at my disposal and really appreciated what they had to offer. I have suboptimal vision and low light conditions can give me trouble at times, especially because I really dislike hunting with my regular glasses on. I tend to rely more on the scope to clean up my eyesight and the VX3HD 4.5-14X40 I was using did just that. I had crystal clear views through the scope as well as the light I needed to keep hunting with my friends when I would have normally tapped out due to inadequate light transmission.
When it comes to simplicity, the VX-3HD really shines. All 14 scopes in the VX3-HD include Leupold’s CDS-ZL elevation dial. This stands for Custom Dial System-Zero Lock. The CDS from Leupold is an awesome feature that I think will win over a lot of hunters. With the CDS system you won’t need to worry about cracking open a dope sheet while you are hunting or stressing about holdovers.
The CDS is as easy as zeroing your rifle and dialing up to the number that corresponds with your target’s distance. So, if you have a 400-yard shot, you simply dial up to 4 on your elevation, aim dead on, and fire. It’s really that easy. When I say I love simplicity, this is the kind of functionality I’m talking about.
After you purchase your scope, you have the option of heading over to the Custom Dial System page of Leupold’s website to begin your journey. The idea here is that you enter all of your variables into the form and what you get back is a new dial, laser etched to your needs. If your scope comes to you with CDL on it, you qualify for one free dial, every new dial after that is $80.
When you pair the functionality of the VX-3HD line with the fact that this line is built on top of the VX-3 Gold ring scopes which have over 40 years of product refinement and real-world use, you know you are getting a rock-solid product. What is surprising is just how affordable these optics are for what you are getting. Of the 14 scopes in the VX-3HD line, not one breaks into the $1,000+ price range and you can get in to one of these for as low as $499 MSRP.
Now, if you are feeling lucky and want to try your luck at winning one of these scopes, your time has just arrived! Starting July 1st – July 31st, Bass Pro Shop’s and Cabela’s are giving you the chance to win a VX-3HD and a whole bunch of other great prize packages. To enter, all you have to do is head over to Bass Pro Shops and complete a simple survey.
The prize packages are sure to get even the saltiest of seasoned hunter’s excited:
Entry is free, so there absolutely no reason to miss out on your opportunity to score some of these awesome prizes being given away from Bass Pro Shop’s!
If you want to buy a Leupold scope while you wait to see if you win, you can head directly to the Leupold product page on Bass Pro Shop’s website. Remember, if you are planning to get a new scope for your fall hunting adventures, there is no better time than now. You don’t want to be trying to squeeze in a range trip to zero your rifle the day before opener.
Ben currently leads the editorial staff for Outdoorhub, Alloutdoor, and The Firearm Blog. He is an avid outdoorsman and has hunted for large game across the United States including Alaska, Texas and his home state of Michigan. Ben also has a deep knowledge and passion for firearms and has participated in various civilian courses focusing on precision rifle shooting, carbine, pistol, ammunition reloading, and hunting focused firearm applications. Outside of work, Ben pursues a number of water based activities spending his free time in Northern Michigan boating and fishing on Lake Charlevoix and Lake Michigan.
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