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Leica Magnus and Magnus i Riflescopes | Optics Trade Debates

Hello and welcome to another episode of Optics Trade Debates. As you’ve probably noticed, as of late, these videos have been all about Leica as a brand and its impressive sales catalog. Today we are here to talk about Leica riflescopes and about the Magnus/Magnus i series, in particular.

Leica has been making binoculars for over 110 years and every few decades, the company launched the production of riflescopes. Magnum series was a milestone, marking Leica’s first foray into the territory of premium riflescope optics.

The first generation of Magnus models was launched in 2011. From the very start, they sparked a lot of interest and were the first real contender to Swarovski Z6 riflescopes. Twenty years ago or more, Zeiss and Swarovski dominated this part of the market thanks to the classic design and 4x zoom.

In 2007, Swarovski introduced 6x zoom and clever features such as ballistic turrets and illuminated reticles. From then to 2011, this German company was on top of the game. But then Leica launched its first generation Magnus series that had a bigger zoom factor, wider field of view and had quite a few interesting characteristics.

This competition resulted in a lawsuit and the ruling result was in Leica’s favour.

The 2nd-generation Magnus models were launched in 2016. This current generation is marked as Magnus i. At the present time, there are four models available: 1-6.3x24i, 1.5-10x42i, 1.8-12x50i and 2.4-16x56i.

While Leica Magnus 1-6.3x24i is best suited for driven hunts, the 1.5-10×42 version is an ideal choice for stalking. This riflescope is especially practical for customers in Europe since it works great mounted on high-quality combination rifles (e.g. a shotgun and centrefire combo rifles).

The 1.8-12x50i model is an all-rounder. It is the most versatile one of the bunch since it can be used for stalking, targeting prey from a shooting stand and even in low light situations.

Leica Magnus 2.4-16x56i is the low-light model with an adjustable parallax, perfect for long-range shooting and hunting in the twilight. The customers who are interested in this model will be smart to choose the variant with BDC turrets.  

BDC turrets with a locking function are available with all Leica Magnus riflescopes, except the WA one. (That’s logical since you’d never shoot on 500 metres with a riflescope model like that).

The ballistic turret that is installed on this series is one of the smallest on the market and with top-notch mechanics. The build quality is also superb. Since it is fully made of metal, it can withstand plenty of rough use and bumps.

It features 95 clicks, which is really a lot for a hunting scope. With this number of clicks, the user can reach out to 800 metres, farther than any ethical hunting allows. By European standards, at least.

When buying the scope, the user only receives a ring that has engraved clicks. That one works like a tactical turret since it only counts the clicks.

However, Leica also produces 12 rings for BDC turrets that have engraved (distance) values for 12 different ballistic curves. These rings can be purchased separately.

The naming of Magnus series is quite confusing since only a year after Magnus i series, Leica introduced non-illuminated models with the same name as the first generation.

In this series, there is no wide-angle model, but the other models are the same in regards to the magnification range: 1.5-10×42, 1.8-12×50 and 2.4-6×56.

The main reason for the introduction of these riflescopes was to cut down the price – these riflescopes are cheaper than the Magnus i series. As such, they are great for hunters who have no need for illumination but still want to experience the superior optical quality of the Magnus series.

Now, let’s talk about the optics. The Magnus i series offers a zoom of approximately 6.3x, depending on the model. For example, the low light model has a 6.7x zoom. These models have the widest field of view among all the hunting riflescopes on the market.

There is also the comfortable eyebox that allows for almost unrestricted head movement of the user. The lens of the eyepiece is quite big and the result resembles looking through glasses since the image is all around you.

The high contrast and vivid colours that they produce can only be matched by a few premium riflescopes made by other famous manufacturers. They offer an outstandingly high light transmission rate of 91%.

There are many coatings on the lenses. All external lens surfaces are covered with Leica AquaDura® coating that prevents fogging at low temperatures, repels water, dirt and oil stains. What is more, it also protects lenses from superficial scratches.

The reticle is in the second focal plane on all models. The user can choose different styles of reticles like the ballistic one, ordinary hunting reticle and a few special reticles are also available with the WA model.

Let’s talk about the illumination control system. It’s so intuitive and easy to handle, even without removing the gloves. The illumination intensity regulation department is unique – the knob on top of the eyepiece can be turned either right or left to adjust the intensity of the dot to daytime or dusk.

Furthermore, the knob can be pressed down on either side to switch between individual illumination intensity levels. There are 60 illumination levels to pick from.

The illuminated dot inside the reticle is very small and precise. The second generation Magnus models only improved that (1 centimetre per 100 metres of coverage at the highest magnification). The illuminated reticle has three different settings (day, night, and off).

The illumination will automatically power off if the optic is pointed upward, downward or flipped to the side to preserve battery life. This function can be disabled.

These advanced characteristics place Leica Magnus series among the top riflescope choices on the current market.

Leica product design is impeccable. These riflescopes have superior build quality.

The battery compartment is located under a cover that doubles as the illumination control turret. The second generation has an even better design, with battery compartment doors that additionally secure the placement of the battery.  

What is also new, are the turrets. They have a different function for re-setting for zero. The user only has to push and is able to rotate the ring with the engraved values.

The feel of the clicks is also really nice since the turret is made of metal, while most competitor brands opt for plastic ones. Furthermore, all Magnus i models except the 1-6.3x24i can be ordered with Leica’s high-quality ballistic turrets with a locking function.

All scopes in this class hold the zero well but Leica is one of the rare companies that come close to the feel of Schmidt & Bender riflescopes.

Optionally, all the rifle scopes from this series can be ordered with the Zeiss ZM/VM rail. This is the most common rail standard and there is a huge selection of manufacturers.

Mounts for this rail are produced by EAW, Recknagel, MAK, Henneberger, Rusan, Kozap, and Blaser, among many others.

We most definitely suggest purchasing these riflescopes with a rail since they’re the best mounting solution, preferable to rings. It is both more robust and aesthetically pleasing.

The finishing is matte black with a high-quality rubber ring on the magnification lens.  In general, magnification rings on all Leica scopes are quite stiff. They are made to last.

All Magnus riflescopes are made in Germany and the warranty on them is 10 years. If you ever run into a problem, simply contact us at Optics Trade and we’ll handle it from there.

This is everything we had in mind for this topic. Thank you for your attention. If you have any questions or you’d like to provide feedback, feel free to contact us via email or the comment section below. We’d love to hear from you. Please like and share this video if you found it useful. Subscribe to our Youtube channel for more of similar content. We’ll see you next time!

Products mentioned:
Leica Magnus non illuminated
Leica Magnus i
Leica riflescopes



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