Leupold VX-R Review (2023): Worth the Money?

Video leupold firedot review

The Leupold VX-R packs some pretty impressive features into a relatively affordable package.

But what do those features mean for you? And is the Leupold VX-R worthy of a place atop your rifle?

In this Leupold VX-R review, I’ll answer that question and more.

Let’s get started!

Here’s My Leupold VX-R Review

The Leupold VX-R is a high-end scope with a mid-level price tag.

Leupold VX-R Overview

It’s durable, accurate, and lightweight. Plus, the Illuminated Ballistic Firedot reticle is excellent for rapid target acquisition.

In fact:

It’s one of my favorite hog gun scopes.

I expected quality from a Leupold scope, and I wasn’t disappointed. Here’s why…

Glass Clarity & Reticle

The glass is clear and produces a bright image.

Leupold VX-R Lens

The best part?

I can easily hunt in low light conditions (dawn or dusk). Here’s why:

Leupold applied their Index Matched Lens and Twilight Max management system. Combined, it allows for crazy bright views in dark conditions.

The VX-R uses one of my favorite red dot reticles:

The Ballistic Illuminated Firedot.

Leupold VX-R Firedot

The dot is bright and draws the eye naturally to center without obscuring the target. This works especially well when I’m trying to take down running game.

The lines on the bottom post allow me to push my shots out beyond 200 yards and still maintain accuracy.

There are 8 brightness settings, and I was able to find the perfect settings for daylight and night shooting pretty quickly.

However, there was one thing I didn’t like about the VX-R:

The brightness button.

Leupold VX-R Button

Instead of a dial, the VX-R uses a button to cycle between the light levels. And sometimes, it’ll get stuck. If this happens to you, simply unscrew the battery cap and put it back on, and the button should work fine again.

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It’s not a deal-breaker, but I do wish they had a dial instead.

Speaking of dial, the VX-R uses a battery to power the illumination. It’s nice, crisp and equipped with an auto on/off feature.

This is literally a battery saver since I sometimes forget to turn off the illumination. Due to this, I didn’t need to change my battery for months now.

Eye Relief & Eye Box

The eye relief sits at a comfortable 3.7-4.2 inches.

Leupold VX-R Eye Relief

I have mine right at 4 inches on my AR and it’s extremely easy and comfortable to line up with.

With that much eye relief, I could easily mount the VX-R on a higher recoiling rifle and not worry about scope bite.

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Eye box is generous and easy to settle into. I’ve found that it maintains field of view even when I zoom it all the way in.


The VX-R packs in all of the durability you’d expect from a Leupold scope.

The tube is machined from aircraft grade aluminum. This means that the tube is not only tough, but it’s also light, weighing in at 15.3 ounces.

Leupold VX-R Aluminum Tube

The VX-R is waterproof up to a depth of thirty three feet. So if you accidentally drop your scope in water, it should still be fully functional.

It’s also fully fogproof and scratchproof – like the Leupold Rifleman 4-12×40 – so you can use it in all environments and conditions.

Elevation & Windage Knobs

The turrets are easy to use and turn with a solid, stiff click.

Leupold VX-R Turret Turn

I was able to zero the scope to 200 yards very quickly and have had no issues with any drifting, even after months of shooting.

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The turrets proved to be reliable.

Leupold VX-R Knobs

Speaking of which, Leupold offers CDS (Custom Dial System) elevation turrets that you can order specific for your caliber and bullet load. I didn’t find this necessary, but it’s a great option to have.

The CDS is a custom elevation dial tuned to your exact load, velocity, and shooting conditions. This means all you have to do is range your target, set the dial, and fire away.

Parallax & Magnification

The VX-R gives you 3-9x variable magnification which is great for close to mid-range shooting.

Leupold VX-R Magnification

The best part?

The reticle is set in the second focal plane. Which means, when magnification is changed, the reticle’s size remains the same.

I’ve had zero problems with the reticle obscuring the target, even when I dial the magnification all the way up.

In fact, the image remains clear, even at 9x. No fuzziness or distortion — just a crisp view.

In case you’re wondering about parallax, there is none…

Because the VX-R comes from the factory with parallax eliminated. So all you have to do is zero it in and go shoot.

Mounting & Rings

If you don’t have a mount, I recommend using the Mark AR 30mm mount. It fits like a glove and holds zero well.

Also, the VX-R ships with a scope cover to help keep your scope clean and protected when not in use.

Leupold VX-R Lens Cover

However, I’d recommend some Butler Creek flip-up lens caps (size 02A)…

…and a 40mm Leupold Sunshade if you shoot in sunny conditions.

Is The Leupold VX-R For You?

Overall, the Leupold VX-R is a monster of a mid-range scope, especially when used with an AR or other tactical rifle, like the M1A.

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Here’s why. It’s got:

  • Clear glass
  • 3-9x magnification
  • Second focal plane
  • Auto-shutoff battery saver
  • Reliable, hand adjustable turrets
  • Ballistic Illuminated Firedot reticle
  • Extremely durable, waterproof, and fogproof

The VX-R brings all the quality and reliability that I would expect from a Leupold but at a reasonable price. If you want to start stepping up your glass game, then the Leupold VX-R is for you.

Plus, the Leupold Lifetime Warranty means that even if you somehow manage to damage the VX-R, you’re covered.

So if you’re ready to take the next step in quality riflescopes, give the Leupold VX-R a try.

I doubt you’ll regret it.


If you own a VX-R riflescope or recently bought one, how do you like it so far? Let me know in the comments below. Also, I’ve written an in-depth guide on the best .22-250 scopes on the market.

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Ethan Smith is a seasoned marine veteran, professional blogger, witty and edgy writer, and an avid hunter. He spent a great deal of his childhood years around the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest in Arizona. Watching active hunters practise their craft initiated him into the world of hunting and rubrics of outdoor life. He also honed his writing skills by sharing his outdoor experiences with fellow schoolmates through their high school’s magazine. Further along the way, the US Marine Corps got wind of his excellent combination of skills and sought to put them into good use by employing him as a combat correspondent. He now shares his income from this prestigious job with his wife and one kid. Read more >>