Leupold strikes an excellent compromise in the optical triangle and provides exceptional eye relief throughout the magnification range. This great optical compromise combined with their exceptional resolution, perfect color correction and mechanical reliability makes Leupold an outstanding value for the dollar.
In particular, the LRT (Long Range Target) series is truly outstanding and three models cover a wide range of applications. Also, their "varmint" reticle system is nearly identical to the JP reticle in our custom ACOG and allows for the same fast hold over and wind off that I provided in the JP ACOG. It really makes much more sense than the traditional mil-dot system. In the LRT series, the reticle is in the ďsecond plainĒ which allows you to adjust the ballistic drop represented in the reticle to precisely fit the trajectory of your load.
You may have heard reference to "first plain" and "second plain" reticles. Most scopes that youíre familiar with have reticles in the second plain. Think of the "first plain" as the "field" that you are looking out into through the scope. Think of the "second plain" as existing inside the scope. In other words, a second plain reticle reticle exists inside the scope and its size remains constant regardless of where you have the magnification set.
Highly specialized scopes such as the Horus Vision have first plain reticles. A first plain reticle exists in the field that you are observing through the scope and the reticle will seem to expand and contract with the magnification setting on the scope as does the field. This results in the graduations of the reticle always being at a constant to the field or target. Scopes with first plain reticles are typically meant for very sophisticated shooters using ballistic software programs to determine point of impact with a certain load under certain atmospheric conditions. They can be very effective in the hands of an experienced shooter.
However, for most shooters, they are too much to deal with. The ballistic reticles in the JP reticle for the ACOG, and the Leupold Varmint series represent a great compromise with the most usable information shown to the shooter and very little to offer confusion. In a fixed power scope such as the ACOG, the position of the reticle (1st or 2nd plain) is not relevant. It is always constant to the field. In variable power scopes such as the Leupold LRT series, having the reticle in the second plain allows the shooter to change the size of the field relative to the size of the reticle. Think about it in this way. The reticle has fixed graduations between the 200, 300, 400 and 500 yard stadia lines. However, when you change the magnification and vary the size of the field or target area relative to the reticle, you have really changed the minutes of angle of drop and wind hold off that the reticle contains. As most trajectories are proportionally similar relative to velocity, you can match the reticle to your load. Itís like magic. Really, itís just plain old physics. All you have to know is that it works!
In other words, letís say that youíre shooting a 223/5.56x45 rifle with 69 grain Sierra Match Kings at about 2850 feet per second MV. Also, letís say youíre using the 4.5-14x50 LRT scope. Youíd find that at a setting of about 10X magnification with a 200 yard main zero, the 300, 400 and 500 yard hold off lines would pretty much right on as would the wind hold off marks. This happens to be one of my set ups and 10 power is my setting with that load.
Letís say you shooting a .260 Remington with 123 SCENAR Lapuas at about 2900 FPS MV using the 6.5-20x50mm LRT scope with the varmint reticle. Youíd find that your magnification setting would be about 14X to make that set up match the reticle.
|LEU66485||Leupold 4.5-14x50 mm long range target scope||$799.00|
|LEU66585||Leupold 6.5-20x50 mm long range target scope||$899.00|
|LEU66610||Leupold 8.5-25x50 mm long range target scope||$949.00|
|LEU110075||MK 4 ER/T 4.5-14x50mm with M5 turrets, 1/10mil adjustments, TMR Front Focal reticle||$1,375.00|
|LEU110076||MK 4 ER/T 6.5-20x50mm with M5 turrets, 1/10mil adjustments, TMR Front Focal reticle||$1,460.00|
|LEU110086||MK 4 ER/T 6.5-20x50mm with M5 turrets, 1/10mil adjustments, H-27 Front Focal reticle||$1,975.00|
|LEUQ30L||Leupold quick release rings, 30mm, matte, low|
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PDF download file of printable targets to maximize your ability to shoot the tightest possible groups with a variety of optics at various ranges.
JP Produced DVD offers great tips on detailed target analysis.
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