The best Leupold scopes for hunting will fit your specific hunting needs so you get the most value out of your scope. This post has sorted the best short-range scopes, mid-range scopes, and long-range scopes by price. This way you can narrow down the best Leupold scope for you within your budget quickly.
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Table of Contents
Leupold Scope Model Hierarchy (Least to Most Expensive)
Below I’ve narrowed down the best Vortex scope models for deer hunting. The crossed-out models indicate that better Vortex options are available for the price:
Best Leupold Rifle Scope Models For Hunting
The numbers in the names of the scope models correspond to the zoom ratios, for example:
- VX-Freedom (Can be any zoom ratio)
- VX-3HD (3:1 Zoom Ratio)
- VX-5HD (5:1 Zoom Ratio)
- VX-6HD (6:1 Zoom Ratio)
The Freedom is the least expensive and the 6HD is the most expensive option. Learn more about these scope models here.
Leupold VX vs Mark Series Scopes – What’s The Difference?
Leupold also has their Mark Series of scopes, for example:
- Mark 3 HD (3:1 Zoom Ratio)
- Mark 5 HD (5:1 Zoom Ratio)
- Mark 6 (6:1 Zoom Ratio)
- Mark 8 (8:1 Zoom Ratio)
The difference between the Leupold VX and Leupold Mark series scopes is the Mark models are made more suited for the military and long-range competition shooters whereas the VX models are better suited for hunters.
Best Short-Range Leupold Scopes For Hunting
Leupold VX-5HD 1-5×24
Leupold does not currently make a budget 1x magnification scope, you’ll have to jump up to the VX-6HD or VX-5HD for a 1x magnification. Although these scopes are in a higher price tier they are worth the money. This scope is also one of the lightest LPVOs on the market. The illumination works great in medium to low light but is not true daylight bright.
Leupold VX-6HD 1-6×24
The VX-6HD 1-6×24 scope is essentially the same scope as the VX-5HD 1-5×24 but you get 1-6x magnification instead of 1-5x magnification. You’ll have to spend slightly more money but you get a bit more versatility with the 1:6 zoom ratio. So it is up to you to determine how important that extra reach is important for your hunting style.
Best Mid-Range Leupold Scopes For Hunting
Leupold VX-Freedom 3-9×40
Leupold’s VX-Freedom, for the money, is incredibly lightweight, durable, backed with a lifetime warranty, has very clear glass which makes it excellent in low-light hunting scenarios, and offers a generous 4.2-inches of eye relief. You can get illumination, for an additional cost. Anyplace you look this scope is getting just about a 5/5 star rating.
Leupold VX-5HD 2-10×42
I would recommend the VX-5HD 2-10×42 as the next step up from the VX-Freedom for mid-range distances. The 2-10x magnification range is versatile and can be used pretty effectively at close range and at fairly long ranges. Because the VX-5HD is built around Leupold’s professional-grade optical system, it has excellent glass quality. FireDot Illumination is optional.
Leupold VX-6HD 3-18×44 CDS-ZL (Mid/Long Range)
If you’re looking for one scope that can do it all, the VX-6HD 3-18×44 is the most versatile scope that Leupold offers. With this large magnification range, you can hunt in both close to long-range environments. This scope pays for itself when it saves you from buying a new gun and scope setup for different ranges.
Best Long-Range Leupold Scopes For Hunting
Leupold VX-3HD 4.5-14×50 CDS-ZL
Leupold’s VX-3HD with CDS (Custom Dial System) is one of the best long-range hunting rifle scopes for the money. What makes this scope unique is the CDS system where you can get a custom top dial for your scope that will allow you to easily and quickly adjust for distance based on your specific rifle ballistics.
In addition, this scope has excellent glass quality and is very lightweight for having a 50mm objective lens. You can get a FireDot illumination reticle for an additional cost. Leupold’s FireDot is one of the best and brightest illuminations. Anyplace you look this scope is getting just about a 5/5 star rating.
Leupold VX-6HD 4-24×52 CDS-TZL3
The Leupold VX-6HD 4-24×52 is Leupold’s most magnified scope in the VX-6 model series but is still versatile with a 4x minimum magnification. It is a bit heavy (25.5 oz) but that is to be expected with a long-range scope that needs larger glass to bring in more light. The 52mm objective lens and the 34mm tube do a great job of bringing in a lot of light so this scope can function at high magnifications in low-light hunting situations. The Custom Dial System (CDS) makes shooting at long range easier than ever. You can get a strictly long-range VX-5HD 7-35×56 scope but it’s less versatile.
More Hunting Optic Resources:
Find the best hunting optics gear faster by navigating to one of my more specific articles:
Best Hunting Optics
- 18 Best Hunting Rifle Scopes For The Money
- 10 Best Vortex Scopes For Deer Hunting
- 10 Best Rangefinders For Hunting
- 14 Best Hunting Binoculars For The Money
- 3 Best Sights & Scopes For Tracking Big Woods Bucks on Snow
Best Brands To Look For When Buying Hunting Rifle Scopes
Brands To Avoid When Buying Hunting Rifle Scopes
- Nikon (they stopped producing rifle scopes)
- Cheap off-brand Amazon scopes (not worth the money)
Best Places To Shop For Hunting Gear
Some great places to find hunting gear include:
- Amazon – Free Two-Day Shipping For Prime Members
- Cabela’s – Free Shipping on Orders Over 50$
- L.L. Bean – Free Shipping on Orders Over 50$
- Walmart – Free Shipping on Orders Over 35$
- Dick’s Sporting Goods
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Images from Leupold.com