If I let you peek into my gun safe at home, you’d see that the vast majority of my long guns are topped with Leupold riflescopes. And I bought every one of them for full retail long before I had a cushy “Can I field test that new scope?” job with OutdoorHub.
Today, during the 2018 SHOT Show Industry Day at the Range, I drooled over yet another fine product from Leupold, the new Mark 5HD line of riflescopes. Because the company’s press release pretty much hits the nail on the head, let me quickly quote the basics:
Featuring two models at launch, the Mark 5HD line has been crafted to redefine accuracy, precision and optical performance for long-range shooters, in a package that embodies rugged reliability. A 5-25×56 model is ideal for those seeking maximum usable magnification, while the 3.6-18×44 edition balances its compact build with big-time optical performance.
The first thing I noticed when handling the Mark 5HD was the weight. The Leupold rep at Range Day said the scope is up to 20 ounces lighter than other scopes in its class, and I believe it. The 5-25×56 weighs in at only 30 ounces; the 3.6-18×44 is just 26 ounces.
Of course, weight is one factor, but what about the glass? I’m a bit of an optics snob, which is one reason I own so many Leupolds. And let me tell you that the Mark 5HD is impressive. Both models deliver fantastic edge-to-edge clarity. The Twilight Max HD Light Management System delivers an ideal balance of image contrast and color, and glare was zero. Now, I didn’t get to test low-light performance during Range Day, but my prediction is the optics will excel here, too.
Both models are available with or without illuminated reticles, and feature rugged 35mm maintubes for increased adjustment travel. One feature I especially liked during my time on the range was the high-speed power selector ring; it has an optional low-profile throw lever that provides additional leverage when making power adjustments.
More from the SHOT Show 2018 Leupold press release: The heart of the Mark 5HD is the all-new M5C3 ZeroLock adjustments, which provide precise, repeatable tracking with a dead-on return to zero. The M5C3 elevation dials deliver 30-mils of adjustment in 3 turns, at 10-mils per turn, allowing the Mark 5HD to max out the performance of the latest long-range rifles and ammunition. Visual and tactile revolution indicators are in place to ensure you don’t get lost in the travel, and the auto-lock at zero eliminates the risk of inadvertently moving the dial. The windage adjustment is capped, and the zero indicator mark has been relocated on the riflescope’s maintube so you can see it without having to move your head off the stock of the rifle.
From what I can tell, the designers at Leupold thought about everything before bringing the Mark 5HD scopes to market. Well done, gentlemen.
Important P.S. If you visit OutdoorHub on a regular basis, you know that made-in-the-USA products are important to me. So, I’m especially happy to let you know that the new Mark 5HD riflescopes are designed, machined and assembled in America, and they’re covered by Leupold’s Full Lifetime Guarantee. Nice!
Images courtesy of Leupold