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Leupold Law Enforcement Sight Systems

Written by Sheppard Kelly

Leupold & Stevens, Inc has recently introduced the most extensive line of new telescopic sight systems for law enforcement and military use in their history. Along with adding illuminated reticles to their Long Range Tactical (LR/T) scopes that were introduced in 2003, Leupold has also released for law enforcement sales a unique telescopic sight that was developed for use on a new military Special Operations rifle fielded in Afghanistan. The new scope, labeled the Mid-Range Tactical (MR/T), was developed for use as the optical sight system for the Special Operations Command’s (SOCOM) Special Purpose Rifle. Leupold has also introduced another new line of affordable precision riflescopes built on the Mark 4 design. Named the mark 4 Precision Rifle (PR), this new scope series offers the ideal combination of affordability and performance for budget-conscious law enforcement and military agencies. Mark 4 Long Range Tactical with Illuminated Reticles According to Cameron Grantham, Leupold’s tactical market specialist, Leupold grouped their tactical optics line by mission profile and created the new offerings included in the Long-Range Tactical Line. The three new models introduced for 2004 with the new illuminated Mil Dot range estimating reticle, are the 4.5 –14x50mm M1, the 6.5-20x50mm M1 and the 8.5-25x50mm M1. These new illuminated reticle scopes round out the original Long Range Tactical line which included 10x40mm M1, 16x40mm M1, and the 10x40M3. Added to the LR/T line, having been modeled for the long range tactical application are the 3.5-10x40mm M1, 3.5-10x40mm M1 w/illuminated reticle, 4.5-14x50mm, 6.5-20x50mm M1, 8.5-25x50mm M1, 3.5-10x40mm M3 and the 3.5-10x40mm M3 with illuminated reticle. All of the Long Range Tactical riflescopes incorporate Leupold’s Matched Lens System. This new lens coating system provides an exceptionally bright and clear sight picture with sharp contrast, even in low light conditions. In designing an Index Matched Lens System, Leupold optical engineers match the type of glass used in each lens with the ideal coating for that lens by balancing the index of refraction needed in both the lens glass and the lens coating. This gives each coated lens the best possible optical performance in the riflescope. The result is a riflescope with optimal light management and maximum light transmission, which provides and image of superior clarity and brightness. And in keeping with the original design features of the MK 4 line, each model has finger adjustable, knurled windage and elevation adjustment dials. Audible, tactile clicks allow precise adjustments. The oversized knurled dials are designed for easy gripping and use in various shooting positions and conditions. The tall M1 dials have 0.25-MOA Bullet Drop Compensator’s (BDC) are available for the M3 scopes in the following calibers and bullet weights: 1) 308 Winchester 168 gr. BTHP Match at 2650 fps; 2) 300 Winchester Magnum 190 gr. BTHP Match at 2900 fps; 3) 30-06 Springfield 180 gr. Bullet at 2700 fps; 4) 5.56mm (.223) 55 gr. bullet at 3,200 fps and 5.56mm (.223) 62 gr. bullet at 3000 fps. Other key LR/T features are side focus parallax resolution dial, which allows elimination of parallax while remaining in the shooting position, a 30mm maintube for increased range of windage and elevation adjustments. The maintube is milled from one piece of 6061-T6 aircraft aluminum for superior strength, full black tactical matte finish to maximize concealment potential (even the Leupold ring, which is typically gold, is matte black), Butler Creek flip-open lens covers for protection from dirt and debris—a flip of the finger opens the lens cover for rapid deployment, and waterproof—each scope is filled with nitrogen and sealed with Leupold’s proven process to keep out moisture. As with all Leupold Golden Ring scopes, the Mark 4 LR/T models are made in the US and backed by the famous Leupold Full Lifetime Guarantee. Electronic components are covered under the Leupold Electronics Warranty. Mark 4 Precision (PR) Rifle Scopes According to Leupold, the Mark 4 PR line was introduced to offer police forces with tight budgets the opportunity to obtain dependable, high-quality tactical riflescopes. Like the other Mark 4 tactical scopes in higher price ranges, the new PR scopes provide all the optical features needed for fail-safe accuracy and performance. Mark 4 PR riflescope models include the 3-9x40mm (Duplex or Mil Dot reticle), 3.5-10x40mm(Duplex or Mil Dot reticle) and 4.5-14x40mm with adjustable objective (Duplex, Fine Duplex or Mil Dot reticle). These three Precision Rifle models offer mid-range magnification levels and moderate size. With side focus, a 30mm maintube for extra elevation and windage, and 14x magnification level, the 4.5-14x40mm PR Long Range PR model provides extended range capability. Each Mark 4 PR riflescope features tall target style adjustment knobs with covers. The ¼ MOA “click” windage and elevation adjustments with 15 MOA of adjustments for each revolution make the scope easily adaptable for various tactical situations. Key features of the PR series of scopes include: 1) the Index Matched Lens System on the 3.5-10x40mm and 4.5-14x40mm models, and the Multicoat 4 lens system on the 3-9x40mm model ensure exceptional image brightness, clarity and contrast; 2) one inch maintube diameter for the 3-9x40mm and 3.5-10x40mm models, while the 4.5-14x40mm Long Range model has a 30mm maintube for increased range of windage and elevation adjustments; 3) the availability of the Mil Dot reticle allows range estimating; 4) full black tactical matte finish to maximize concealment potential, and; 5) waterproof – each scope is filled with nitrogen and sealed with Leupold’s proven process to keep out moisture. Mark 4 CQ/T 1-3x14mm Close Quarter/Tactical Scope Introduced two years ago, the Leupold Mark 4 CQ/T 1-3x14mm sight was designed for tactical firearms such as the M-16/AR-15 weapons family. It combines the strengths of a “red dot” sight and a variable power riflescope. Its unique features include: 1) at 1x it functions as a non-magnifying, illuminated sight for tactical scenarios at extremely close range; 2) dial up to 2x or 3x to accurately engage targets at medium ranges; 3) the Leupold Circle Dot illuminated aiming point, done in eye friendly orange, allows instant target acquisition for close engagements; 4) a large field of view for acquiring and tracking moving targets. Other features include: 5) total waterproof integrity; 6) 10 illumination settings to match any light conditions without neutralizing your natural low-light vision; 7) mounts to MIL-STD 1913 rail bases with optional mounting hardware; 8) windage and elevation adjustments are 0.5-MOA; 9) Diamond Coat scratch resistant lens coating on all exterior lens surfaces and Multicoat 4 on all interior lens surfaces to maximize light transmission; 10) one AA battery powers the Mark 4 CQ/T for up to 600+ hours at medium setting, and; 11) battery can be easily and quickly replaced in the field without tools. The CQ/T also incorporates a unique range estimating system utilizing the Leupold Circle Dot Reticle. At three times the diameter of the circle equates to six feet in height at 100 yards. At 200 yards, six feet of height is measured from the dot to the edge of the circle. The CQ/T also incorporates a MIL STD M1913 rail system on the body of the sight to allow the installation of accessories such as laser and lights. Mid Range/Tactical Riflescopes Four models of the new Leupold Mid range/Tactical (MR/T) rifle scopes are designed for law enforcement use when targets must be accurately engaged at distances from 50 to 700 meters. But this is only part of the story. This may be the first rifle scope actually tested on the battlefield for well over a year before being introduced to the law enforcement market. Cameron Grantham, Leupold’s tactical market specialist, describes the MR/T scopes this way: “ In a way, our new Mark 4 MR/T riflescopes are already seasoned veteran because they were originally created specifically for the US military’s Special Purpose Rifle (see sidebar on the development of SOCOM’s SPR), an M-16 style sniper system used in Afghanistan. We made these powerful scopes as small as possible without compromising one bit on performance. The military experience of our Mark 4 MR/T riflescopes has field-proven their dependability, waterproof integrity optical quality and repeatable accuracy.” The 3-9x36mm M1 comes with Duplex, Mil Dot and illuminated Duplex and Mil Dot reticle. The 3-9x36mm M3 comes with Mil Dot and illuminated Mil Dot reticle’s, the later model the one tested for this report. Each Mark 4 MR/T riflescope features Leupold’s Index Matched Lens System which provides and exceptionally bright and clear sight picture with sharp contrast, even in low light conditions. In addition, each Mark 4 MR/T has finger adjustable, knurled windage and elevation adjustment dials. Audible, tactical clicks allow precise adjustments. These oversize, knurled dials are designed for easy gripping and use in various shooting positions and weather conditions. The M1 dials have 0.25-MOA “click” adjustments, while the bullet drop compensation marked M3 dials (our test scope had a BDC for the M855 62 grain military service 5.56mm round) have 0.5-MOA windage adjustment and 1 MOA elevation adjustments. Other features include: 1) lockable fast focus eyepiece with special eye relief optimized for AR-15/M-16 style rifles to compensate for stock size; 2) ample space on upper receiver for additional accessories; 3) 30mm maintube for increased range of windage and elevation adjustments, the maintube is milled from one piece of 6061-T6 aircraft aluminum for superior strength; 4) full black tactical matte finish to maximize concealment; 5) Butler Creek flip-open lens covers for protection from dirt and debris, and; 6) waterproof—each scope is filled with nitrogen and sealed with Leupold’s proven process to keep out moisture. Like all Leupold riflescopes with the illuminated reticle option, the New Mark 4 MR/T models are designed to allow fast, accurate target acquisition and shot placement in extreme low-light conditions. With 11 intensity setting, a wide range of adjustments can be made to match the light. Even the brightest setting will not overpower the target or affect low light vision. The reticle reverts to black when switched off in bright light. VX-III Riflescope Line The Gold Ring VX-III riflescope line is designed to replace and improve on the popular Vari-X III line. The new VX-III line incorporates new lens coating and reticle options not previously available in the Vari-X III line. The VX-III riflescopes incorporate Leupold’s new Index Matched Lens System described previously. This lens system maximizes light transmission and optimizes light management providing an exceptionally bright and crisp sight picture with sharp contrast even in low light conditions. Also available are two new reticles—Leupold’s Boone & Crockett Club Big Game Reticle and Varmint Hunter’s Ballistic Reticle System. These new reticles allow hunters easy “hold over” points once the reticles have been zeroed at a particular distance. The two new range finding reticle systems are available in various models of these scopes. Sheppard Kelly is a former Supervisory Special Agent with a federal law enforcement agency. He was in charge of its firearms training and weapons and ammunition research & development program.

Published in Tactical Response, Jan/Feb 2005

Rating : 10.0


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