Looking to pick up a new scope but unsure which would be best for you? In this article, we’ll be discussing the pros and cons of the Leupold vx3i vs VX5hd. We’ll also pull in some opinions from hunters who have field tested these two scopes extensively!
While we believe that both of these scopes are good, there are definitely some considerations to be made pertaining to your situation. Here’s a quick features comparison to get you started, but keep reading for the full overview!
|Leupold VX-5 HD||Leupold VX-3i|
|Weight||16.8 Oz||13.0 Oz|
|Eye Relief||3.8”||3.7”- 4.4”|
|Reticle||Duplex||Boone & Crockett|
|FOV||57.5’-19.1’ @100 yards||19.9’- 7.4’ @100 yards|
|Check Price On Amazon||Check Price On Amazon|
Leupold vx3i vs vx5hd – What’s The Difference?
First of all, these scopes have a significant price difference. With the VX5 being significantly pricier than the VX3i. So, is the VX5 worth that extra cash? Let’s find out!
Now, the differences between the features both scopes offer, start with the difference in the magnification range of both scopes. The magnification range of Leupold VX-5 HD is 2-10X and for VX 3i the magnification range is 4.5-14X. Another noteworthy difference is in the zoom ratio of both hunting scopes, VX-5 HD and VX 3i have zoom ratios of 5:1 and 3:1 respectively.
There’s also a pretty big difference between the glass quality and the coatings which are used on the lenses. This is a pretty big deal with optics, and you should be sure that you’re willing to compromise on it to save a few bucks or you might regret it.
The objective size featured by both scopes is also different, the VX-5 HD offers an objective size of 42mm while VX 3i offers an objective size up to 40mm. The field of focus (FOV) featured in VX-5 HD is 57.5’-19.1’ @100 yards while the FOV of the VX 3i 19.9’- 7.4’ @100 yards.
These scopes are slightly different in weight also, the VX-5 HD is slightly heavier than the VX 3i. Lastly, the tube size of VX-5 HD is 30mm while of VX 3i 1”.
BUT, that’s just product specs. What about real world performance? In the below section, we’ll review both scopes, pulling in information from surveyed hunters who have used both scopes in the field.
Leupold VX-5 HD Review
Leupold VX-5 HD is a 5:1 zoom ratio hunting scope. This hunting scope features a fast-focus eyepiece for instant shifting from a wide field of view to a personal or up-close view. The 2 elevation dial allows the hunters to dial up the elevation to 2 turns without losing the zero. The Twilight Max Light Management System allows the hunters to hunt efficiently during darker times of the day (e.g. dusk and dawn).
This hunting scope features the CDS ZeroLock System that does not let the turret spin and all the CDS dials feature the ¼ MOA click finger adjustment system. The blackened edges of its lens help in viewing a clear and bright image during dusk and dawn.
The generous eye box of this scope helps in achieving a clear and full picture easily. The main tube is made of 6061-T6 aircraft aluminum sealed with a blend of Argon/Krypton gases for water and fog proofing. The Guard Ion lens coating makes it more durable by making the lens water, dirt, and scratch proof. The illuminated reticles of this hunting scope feature MST that allows the illumination to deactivate after 5 minutes of inactivity automatically.
The amazing quality of the lens glass and the Duplex reticle featured on this hunting scope are the most liked features by hunters. However, the high-quality and clear optics, the Twilight Max Light Management System, and the darkened edges of the lens are all excellent quality of life features as well. Click here to read reviews from hunters and check price on Amazon for this scope.
- 5:1 zoom ratio
- High-quality glass
- ZeroLock system
- Scratchproof glass
- 2 turn elevation without losing zero
- CDS for accurate and precise shots
- Illuminated reticles
- Water and fog proof
- ¼ MOA finger adjustment system
- Twilight Max Light Management system
- MST enabled
- Pricier than the VX 3i
- A little heavier than the VX 3i
Leupold VX 3i Review
The Leupold VX 3i comes with a zoom ratio of 3:1 and a magnification range of 4.5-14X. This scope features an aggressively redesigned power selector which allows instant adjustments for fluctuating terrains. The enhanced light management system offers a sharp and clear image in dim light. The edge blackened lens of this scope help in avoiding glare, which can be a huge issue in iffy lighting conditions.
Boosted light transmission and extreme abrasion resistance are provided by the DiamondCoat lens coatings. Repeatedly done adjustments are ensured by the Twin Biased Spring Erector System, this system guards against point-of-impact shift also.
This scope also features the ¼ MOA finger click elevation and windage adjustment. The same gas blend of Argon/Krypton used in the Leupold VX-5 HD is used in this hunting scope also for water and fog proof properties. Its 1-piece main tube is made from aircraft standard aluminum.
While the VX5 is much fancier than this scope, the VX3i is no slouch. Hunters who have used it are impressed by the clarity of view, even in low light, and it’s fantastic deal for the price. So, if you can live without the extra features of the VX5, this scope is a solid pick. Click here to check reviews from other hunters and view prices for this scope on Amazon.
- Cheaper than the VX-5 HD
- Water and fog proof
- ¼ MOA finger adjustment
- DiamonCoat lens coating for light transmission and abrasion resistance
- Lighter in weight
- Twin Biased Spring Erector system
- ¼ MOA finger click elevation and windage adjustment
- 1-piece main tube
- Lesser zoom ratio
- View dimmer than the VX-5 HD
- No CDS ZeroLock system
- No MST
In closing, while these scopes have a lot of the same features, there is a big difference in quality. The VX5 has better glass and quality of life features if you’re willing to spend the coin to get it, and it’s a truly fantastic scope.
However, the VX3i is still a great scope if you’re on a budget. Many hunters are impressed with its performance and it will still serve you well in the field.