Leupold Improves VX-I and II to VX-1 and 2

The new VX-1 replaces the VX-I. Light transmission is improved from 85% to 92%, which is a significant increase. Leupold was able to “hold the line” on pricing even though the VX-1 is brighter and a new model.


by Scott Mayer

One of the most common questions I get is “What’s a good value-priced riflescope?” Well, that depends on your budget. If your budget is a few hundred dollars, then I don’t see anything wrong with one of Leupold’s VX-I scopes. Add a couple hundred bucks more to your budget, and the VX-II line is a step up without breaking the bank. This year though, Leupold is replacing those lines with improved VX-1 and VX-2 lines, respectively. Typically a manufacturer uses a change like this to implement a price increase, but Leupold’s Pat Mundy says the company was able to “hold the line on price,” and that’s good news for the consumer.

So what’s new other than replacing the Roman numeral designation with Arabic? Well, they’re brighter. Of course every scope maker claims the next iteration of a scope line is brighter, but the magnitude is frequently on the order of split hairs. Not this time. While the VX-I claimed about 85% light transmission, the new VX-1 boasts 92%–and that’s a significant increase. On the VX-2, the brightness increase to 94% is not so much over the VX-II’s 92%, but it’s still an improvement and the VX-II had good light transmission for a scope in its price range to begin with.

The new VX-2 is slightly brighter than the VX-II that it replaces. The new line of VX scopes are already in the distribution pipeline.

Optically, both are using what Leupold calls its Quantum Optical System, and the specific system is unique to each scope line. The system in the VX-1 line includes lenses with Leupold’s basic Multicoat 4 coating while the lenses on the VX-2 have Leupold’s Index Matched lens coating. VX-2 glass also gets a blackened edge treatment and the exterior lenses have DiamondCoat to resist abrasion.

Mechanically, both lines have click-adjustable dials in 1/4-minute increments, and some models of the VX-2 are available with Leupold’s Custom Dial System (CDS). I have a CDS-equipped scope on my .22-250 and the darn thing works great. If you’re not familiar with a CDS, it’s simply a replacement scope turret dial that is calibrated for your specific load. You provide Leupold with your bullet and velocity information, and they custom-design the dial with elevation marks for your load. Just dial in the distance, aim dead on the target, and shoot. It’s a great system if you’re in a stationary position and have the time to range your target and adjust a dial before tripping the trigger. For me, that means groundhogs.

Both scope lines have fast-focus eyepieces and low-profile lock rings. The VX-1 has Leupold’s traditional nitrogen purge to water-and fog-proof the scope while the VX-2 uses a second-generation argon/krypton blend.

Something I really like about this line of scopes is that they look how I think scopes ought to look. There’s no beer can-size eyepiece and instead of curves, the body has clean angles that, to me at least, make a scope look more svelte. The new VX-1 and VX-2 scopes are already in the distribution pipeline, so they may be on your dealer’s shelves as you read this. The older VX-I and II were good values even before the introduction of these new scopes, but if there are still any left, I imagine you’ll find some smoking deals on them as dealers move them off the shelf to make way for the new VX-1 and VX-2.


{ 7 comments… add one }
  • Andrew September 22, 2015, 8:30 pm

    VX-1 does fine on an AR! Bring it on!

  • Wayne January 20, 2015, 6:51 pm

    I am looking at a leupold vx1 & vx2 for my ar15. I would like to know if the vx1 would hold up as well as the vx2 because of rapid fire at times.

  • jen October 19, 2012, 1:02 am

    Just found out that the VX2 does not have a locking ring on the eye piece. So what are you talking about?????

  • Southerner January 22, 2012, 10:51 pm

    You left out the return of the Leupold Long Tube 3 power rifle scope: The new FX-II 3x is now available from the Leupold Custom Shop, the long tube allows low mounting on long action bolt guns without extention rings or bridge mounts. Perfect for the 416 Rigby and 375 H&H!

  • Dean January 18, 2012, 7:56 pm

    All well and good . . . What about the VX-6 that was introduced at the 2011 SHOT Show? Few if any have hit distribution. And now it’s “rumored” that additional reticle options will be available?

    Lastly, and this is no slam on Leupold alone (though they are guilty by their own admission), but what’s with the SHOT vendors referring customer’s to their web site, when 75% of the web sites haven’t been updated to reflect the SHOT Show introductions? Com ‘on they know when the SHOT Show is. Besides the marketing hype that’s printed for distribution, the web site should be ready and updated on the day the product(s) are announced.

    From Leupold: “Website rebuild should finish by April 2012. The VX-6 is in the 2012 catalog, so you might want to get your grips on one of those.” Yea, right. Dealers don’t have catalogs either!!

  • Phillip January 18, 2012, 10:51 am

    So if the new VX-1 and VX-2 now have 92% and 94% light transmission, respectively, what is the light transmission of the VX-3 for comparision using the same methods of calculation?

  • Joe Modica January 18, 2012, 8:39 am

    Sure could use a leupold coupon by now on this new VX-2. Thanks

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