Leupold introduced the Vari-X II riflescope line in late 1963; it wasn’t until 2002, though, that Vari-X II scopes were revamped and renamed, becoming the VX-II series. For 2012, the company has once again upgraded and re-titled its popular mid-price scopes. Tested here is the new VX-2 4-12X 40 mm AO variant.
The basis of the VX-2 is a one-piece 6061-T6 aluminum main tube; despite its 1-inch diameter the scope offers 65- and 85-m.o.a. worth of windage and elevation adjustment, respectively. The tool-free adjustments are valued at 1/4 m.o.a. per “click,” with each movement being both audible and tactile. Covering the low-profile turrets and housings are screw-on aluminum caps.
The traditionally placed magnification band has numerous ribs, as well as a single tab, to enhance purchase. Its movement also has sufficient friction so as not to be inadvertently bumped when changing the setting. On specific models, including the variant tested, there’s a parallax-adjustment band on the objective bell; in this case, it offered settings from 25 yards to “infinity.”
As for the Index Matched lead-free lenses, they are purported to offer 94 percent light transmission, as well as feature Leupold’s DiamondCoat treatment on the exterior surfaces to enhance abrasion resistance. The edges of the lenses are blackened for improved resolution and contrast. Whereas nitrogen was used to purge VX-II riflescopes to prevent internal fogging, for VX-2 scopes it uses an Argon/Krypton blend.
Although the scope tested featured a fine Duplex reticle, the company also offers VX-2s with standard Duplex, Long Range Duplex and target dot reticles, among others. There’s even the new Custom Dial System (CDS), which is custom-tailored to a specific load, available on select models.
Evaluation of the VX-2 began with the longstanding freeze and submersion tests, which determine if an optic is truly purged and waterproof; failures are revealed via air bubbles and internally fogged lenses. The VX-2 exhibited no issues.
We then mounted the optic atop a Weatherby Vanguard Series 2 Synthetic rifle in .240 Wby. Mag. and a “shooting-the-square” evaluation—30 m.o.a. high and 30 m.o.a. wide—was conducted to determine the repeatability and accuracy of the turrets’ adjustment. When the group size—around 0.3 inches—was subtracted from the shot placements, the results were very good. The vertical turret mechanical error at 100 yards was less than 0.02 inches. The windage turret’s error was a bit more, but still excellent 0.028 inches (or about 1/4 m.o.a.).
Optically speaking, the VX-2 compared favorably with scopes of similar price. The scope proved especially impressive in the low-light conditions at which it will likely be called upon to perform.
Although the model tested weighed only 13.2 ounces, some weigh as little as 8.1 unces. Perhaps our only complaint is the small amount—4.9 inches—of mounting surface on the main tube; mounting it atop some rifles will prove problematic.
Based upon our findings, the VX-2 is a well-designed, mechanically sound riflescope that should provide a lifetime of service.
Manufacturer: Leupold & Stevens, Inc.; (503) 646-9171; (800) 538-7653; www.leupold.com Model: VX-2 Magnification and Objective: 4-12X 40 mm AO Finish: matte black (tested), silver Field of View (Ft. @ 100 Yds.): 20.4 ft. (4X); 9.7 ft. (12X) Eye Relief: 4.9" (4X); 3.7" (12X) Click Value: 1/4 m.o.a. Windage and Elevation Adjustment Range: 65 m.o.a. (w); 85 m.o.a. (e) Reticle: fine Duplex Length: 117⁄8" Weight: 13.2 ozs. Features: objective bell parallax adjustment band correction from 25 yds. to infinity; click adjustable turrets Accessories: owner’s manual, scope cover Suggested Retail Price: $375 to $688