Scopes

Leupold VX 3 HD 4.5-14×40 Review In 2024

Leupold scope review

As an avid reader of HuntersHalt, you probably know the distinction Leopold optics carry in our reviews. Today, we’re turning to a true gem in Leupold’s optic catalog – the Leupold VX 3 HD 4.5-14X40.

The VX 3HD 4.5 – 14 is a variable-powered optic and is one of my favorite hunting scopes. In my opinion, it has the perfect magnification and optical clarity while still prioritizing ergonomics and aesthetic appeal.

In this Leupold VX 3 4.5 14×40 review, we’ll walk you through how we rate the VX 3 HD, analyzing characteristics like reticle type, durability, adjustment features, and more. We’ll also give you some handy buying advice for the VX 3 HD, such as affordability, brand reputation, magnification, and use case. Enjoy the read!


How Do I Rate The Leupold VX 3 HD?

As with most of our hunting scope reviews, we rate areas of the scope, including the following.

  1. Magnification Power
  2. Lens Quality
  3. Reticle Type
  4. Durability and Build Quality
  5. Adjustment Features
  6. Eye Relief
  7. Field of View
  8. Weight and Size
  9. Compatibility with the Rifle
  10. Price and Budget
  11. Brand Reputation
  12. Scope Use Case

1. Magnification Power

A good hunting scope is one that can adeptly provide you with both close-range and long-range magnification. The Leupold VX 3 HD shines with its versatile 4.5-14x magnification range.

Through general experience, I’ve found this range to be the sweet spot for both dense timber and long-range shots during expansive western mountain hunting.


2. Lens Quality

Few optic lenses can compare to Leupold’s golden standard.

The Elite Optical System makes the darkest of forests come alive, regardless of whether it’s dawn or dusk. Furthermore, it has elite-level glare reduction to ensure a crisp view in even the harshest light conditions.


3. Reticle Type

I don’t think there’s a hunter out there who doesn’t know the Leupold-invented Duplex reticle. It’s arguably my favorite hunting reticle as it is simplistic and allows for your eye to be naturally drawn to the center.

The heavy posts stand out against cover in low light and the thin lines at the center aid in precise aiming. It’s a design that’s stood the test of time since 1962 and remains a favorite for a reason.


4. Durability and Build Quality

I can’t think of a Leupold scope that has ever failed me, and that speaks volumes – I tend to be very reckless in the field. And I can say with confidence that the VX 3 HD meets the same durability standard as other Leupold scopes.

It’s lightweight, yet tough, able to withstand the rigors of harsh hunting environments. I’ve exposed it to everything from torrential rain to accidental drops, and it has come through unscathed.

With hardened surface coatings and the ability to withstand extreme temperatures and severe weather, this is truly one of the most durable hunting scopes you can buy.


5. Adjustment Features

Nowadays, almost every medium- and premium-tier rifle scope has a zero lock system, but I hold a special place for Leupold’s CDS ZeroLock dial. When using it, it just feels like a high-quality custom dial system. The ability to lock and unlock the dial with ease and prevent accidental dial movement adds a layer of confidence in the field.

Windage and elevation adjustments include 1/4 MOA (Windage) and 1/4 MOA (elevation adjustment), with a max MOA adjustment range of 70 for both.


6. Eye Relief

The VX has a really generous eye relief of 4.4 to 3.6 inches of eye relief, providing ample space for an enjoyable viewing experience, even at higher magnifications.

Many people overlook this aspect, but it’s actually quite important when using large calibers and for prolonged use, especially when wearing glasses.


7. Field of View

The VX has a wide field of view ranging from 19.9 ft to 7.4 ft at 100 yards. The FOV allows you to quickly spot targets at the lower single-digit magnifications and provide enough for a detailed picture of animals at the larger magnifications.


8. Weight and Size

At 13.3 ounces and 12.67 inches in length, this scope is remarkably lightweight and compact for its capability range. Its incredible weight and size are two of the main reasons why the VX is one of my go-to scopes for hunting in mountainous areas.

If you’ve hunted in the Rocky Mountains or any challenging environment, you know how essential a lightweight and compact scope is.


9. Compatibility with the Rifle

One of the major benefits of choosing a Leupold scope is its rifle compatibility. No, I’m not talking about Weaver or Integral mountings; I’m referring to how Leupold scopes fit on a rifle. They enhance, rather than hinder, the rifle’s balance and handling, which is vital for both comfort and accuracy in shooting.

Provided you use the correct scope rings, the Leupold VX offers ample mounting space and an extremely comfortable aiming platform.


10. Price and Budget

At $599.99, the Leupold VX 3HD is one of your more expensive hunting rifle scopes, but that said, you won’t find better quality for that price tag.


11. Brand Reputation

Leupold scopes are renowned for reliability, and the lifetime guarantee is a testament to their confidence in their products. Honestly, there’s no reason to doubt Leupold’s reputation – they’ve proved their commitment to quality for more than a century now.


12. Scope Use Case

Hunting is the best use case for this scope, but given its exact ballistics and bright image, it’s also perfect for sport shooting and competition shooting.


What Are The Most Important Factors To Consider Before Buying The Leupold VX 3 HD?

When considering the Leupold VX 3 HD 4.5-14×40, there are six factors you should consider before buying the scope.

  1. Lens Quality and Light Transmission: Essential for low light conditions, the Elite Optical System ensures clarity and brightness.
  2. Durability and Weather Resistance: Shooters demand durability from their optics, and the Leupold VX 3 HD is more than up for the task. Still, it’s important to consider the ruggedness needed for your adventures.
  3. Weight and Size: If you’re often on the move, the lightweight and compact design of this scope is ideal.
  4. Reticle Preference: The Duplex reticle offers quick target acquisition, which is crucial for fast-moving game.
  5. Budget: While it costs $599.99, its features and Leupold’s reputation for quality make it a worthy consideration.
  6. Purpose of Use: Are you a hunter or a sport shooter? The scope’s versatile magnification makes it suited for both use cases.

Is The Leupold VX Good For Hunters?

The Leupold VX 3 HD is ideal for hunters. It’s my second favorite hunting scope, right behind the Vortex Razor HD.

The reason it’s so good is because of its light transmission capabilities that excel in dawn and dusk conditions. Also, the robust construction ensures it can handle the unpredictable nature of hunting environments. Its magnification range caters to a variety of hunting scenarios, from dense forests to open plains.


Do Leupold Optics Have Variable Magnification?

Yes, most Leupold optics have variable magnification, and the VX 3 HD is a prime example. It offers a 3:1 zoom ratio, providing a significant range from 4.5x to 14x.

From hunting scopes like the VX 3 HD to LPVO scopes like the Patrol6HD, Leupold makes high-quality variable magnification optics.


Is The Leupold VX 3 HD 4.5-14×40 Worth It For The Cost?

Considering its features and the performance it delivers, the Leupold VX 3 HD 4.5-14×40 is definitely worth the cost.

Its combination of elite optical clarity, durability, and user-friendly adjustments, which is backed by a trusted brand, make it a worthwhile investment.

If you are on a tight budget, you might consider HuntersHalt’s best low-light scopes under $500. Include this link:


Does Leupold Have A Good Reputation?

Leupold holds one of the highest places in the optics industry. Like Vortex scopes, they are known for high-quality, durable, and reliable scopes. Furthermore, Vortex and Leupold both have a commitment to quality craftsmanship, which is probably why they are so popular.


The Bottom Line

The Leupold VX 3 HD 4.5-14×40 is an excellent choice for hunters and shooters who value clarity, versatility, and durability in their optics. When you’re buying the VX 3 HD you’re not only buying the optic, but you’re buying the guarantee that the optic will last you a lifetime. Now, that’s something I can stand behind!

About the author

Charles Neser

I'm a life long hunter & gun lover. Currently pursuing my Master's Degree (M.Sc.) in Animal Nutrition at University of the Free State.

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