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Home » Rifle Scopes » Leupold Mark 5HD 3.6-18x44 MIL Riflescope Review | Optics Trade Reviews

Leupold Mark 5HD 3.6-18x44 MIL Riflescope Review | Optics Trade Reviews

Leupold Mark 5HD 3.6-18x44 riflescope is a high-end piece of optical equipment that is designed for medium to long-range shooting. The Leupold Mark 5 HD series offers a variety of features and settings that make this 3.6-16x44 MIL-MIL model perfect for tactical and precision shooters. In this review, we will go over all the features of the scope and give our opinion on how well it performs.

Leupold Mark 5HD 3.6-18x44 MIL Riflescope
Leupold Mark 5HD 3.6-18x44 MIL Riflescope

Leupold & Stevens INC.

Leupold Optics is a very known company, especially renowned in the United States. All Leupold optics are an in-house production: completely designed, machined, and assembled in the USA. The exceptions are the lenses and other glass components, which Leupold sources elsewhere. The Leupold factory is located in Beaverton, Oregon State.

Leupold Mark 5HD

Leupold Mark 5HD series of rifle scopes is the latest edition of these highly successful tactical optics. What is so special about these scopes is that they have a 5x zoom factor. Leupold Mark 5HD optics are very lightweight compared to riflescopes from other brands with similar magnifications. Build-wise, Leupold 5HD models are compact and short. They also sport the new Leupold low-profile elevation turret. All Leupold Mark 5HD scopes are built with a 35-millimeter main tube, which is quite unusual.

Leupold Mark 5HD 3.6-18x44 MIL Riflescope - 306mm (12in) in Length
Leupold Mark 5HD 3.6-18x44 MIL Riflescope - 306mm (12in) in Length

Physical Properties

The Leupold Mark 5HD 3.6-18x44 riflescope has a magnification range of 3.6-18x and comes with a 44mm objective lens. If you're looking to attach a night vision or thermal clip-on, take note that the outside diameter of the objective measures 53.3 millimeters (2 inches). All-metal construction ensures this rugged scope can withstand even the strongest calibers like .50 BMG rifle rounds.

The internals of Mark 5HD 3.6-18x44 are purged with Argon, meaning the scope can be used in cold environments without the glass fogging up. Leupold is one of the rare manufacturers that use Argon instead of Nitrogen gas. Another example is Leupold's compatriot, Vortex Optics, from Wisconsin. Leupold Mark 5HD 3.6-18x44 scope is waterproof, so inclement weather like heavy rainfall or snow won't be an issue.

Leupold Mark 5HD 3.6-18x44 MIL - Mounting Surface Under the Scope
Leupold Mark 5HD 3.6-18x44 MIL - Mounting Surface Under the Scope

The scope is very short and has no built-in rail option. This long-range specialist measures only 306 millimeters in length (12 inches). Not to mention it also weighs only 737 grams, only a bit more than Schmidt & Bender 3-18x42 (700g or 24.6 oz). Still, the scope is among the lightest models of this kind. For a comparison, Sig Sauer's premium scope Tango6 3-18x44 clocks in at 1066g (37.6 oz).

Leupold Mark 5HD scopes have a 35-millimeter tube diameter that falls outside of the conventional size. The 35mm chassis allows for a greater elevation range. Though this does come at a cost, as there are not many producers of mounts that fit this size tube. Most traditional European mount makers only offer 34mm or 36mm mounts. The entire mounting surface measures 151mm in length.

Need Reliable 35mm Scope Mounts?

Leupold Mark 5HD 3.6-18x44 MIL - Removable Throw Lever on Magnification Ring
Leupold Mark 5HD 3.6-18x44 MIL - Removable Throw Lever on Magnification Ring

Eyepiece and Magnification Ring

The Leupold Mark HD 3.6-18x44 riflescope has a fast-focus eyepiece that impressed us with its smooth glide control. Leupold scopes are known for the mechanical reliability of moving scope parts. The magnification ring is also well-thought-out. The design features a built-in throw lever that can be removed per the user's preference. To replace the lever, a spare screw is kindly supplied by Leupold inside the box with the product.

Leupold Mark 5HD 3.6-18x44 MIL
Leupold Mark 5HD 3.6-18x44 MIL

Parallax Adjustment

The Leupold Mark HD 3.6-18x44 has an adjustable parallax that keeps the target sharp whether you're looking at a target that's 50 meters away or 800 meters and more. Additionally, the smooth parallax turret of Mark 5HD scopes makes it easy to work with for more precise adjustments.

Many other tactical riflescopes have greater distances packed too close together so that when you turn the dial even a little bit, you've already hit infinity - which is annoying. However, Leupold Mark 5HD turrets are finely adjustable for long-range engagements so that you can get a clear shot every time. Nicely spaced out 400, 600, 800 and infinity marks on side focus are first-class.

Elevation Turret

The Leupold Mark5 HD 3.6-18x44 scope's turrets are by far the best feature. They're designed with a small, built-in push button that works as a zero lock. It's one of the most clever design choices we've seen in high-end tactical scopes. To set your elevation turret to zero, simply click the lozenge-shaped button; this will unlock the turret. From there, all you need to do is count each click until you reach your zero.

Leupold Mark 5HD 3.6-18x44 MIL - Elevation Turret with 0.1 mRAD Clicks
Leupold Mark 5HD 3.6-18x44 MIL - Elevation Turret with 0.1 mRAD Clicks

Audible clicks

One turret click is worth 0.10 MIL, which means each click moves the reticle for 1 centimeter at 100 yards. The clicks are very audible and have a nice feel to them. They're not too stiff, so they're easy to operate. At the same time, they don't run too smoothly; they stop exactly where you want them to. You'll never skip a click when rotating the elevation turret back to zero because the lock-release button pops out and automatically locks the turret in place.

3 Turret Revolutions

The elevation turret has 3 revolutions and a maximum reticle travel range of 30 MILs. Though Leupold states that the internal elevation is also 30 MIL, we believe it to be more than that.

Another curious thing about this scope is you get 10.5 MILs of elevation in one turn. Leupold configured the elevation turret in an uneven number of MILs, so the numbers enumerated on the turret don't go over each other. That makes it easier for the user to see what click position they're in. We were initially skeptical of this configuration choice, but once you get used to Leupold Mark 5HD turrets, they're almost effortless to operate.

Leupold Mark 5HD 3.6-18x44 MIL - Elevation Turret with Mechanical Turn Indicator
Leupold Mark 5HD 3.6-18x44 MIL - Elevation Turret with Mechanical Turn Indicator

Mechanical Turn Indicator

Another superb feature of Leupold Mark 5HD is the mechanical turn indicator on the elevation turret. The same integrated button that locks/unlocks the elevation adjustment also works as a turn indicator.

In the 1st turret turn, this button juts out of the turret. You can feel it in the dark. When the turret is dialed to the 2nd revolution, the button is flush with the housing, no longer protruding from the surface. 

On the 3rd turret revolution, the lock-release button retreats inside the housing. So you have a nice indicator that you've nearly maxed-out the full turret potential. But there's even more to the tech ingenuity of the Mark 5HD series. Namely, a silver pin pops out on the 3rd turret turn.

It's great that Leupold implemented a visual and mechanical turn indicator that you can feel with gloves. While this scope will do most of the work during the day, the silver pin is also a perfect solution for low-light use. You can always touch and check in which revolution you are, even when you cannot see the turret.

Leupold Mark 5HD 3.6-18x44 MIL - Elevation Witness Mark and Windage Turn Indicator
Leupold Mark 5HD 3.6-18x44 MIL - Elevation Witness Mark and Windage Turn Indicator

Setting the Zero on Elevation Turret

The zero on the elevation turret can be aligned to match the high-visibility witness mark on the chassis. This line under the elevation turret allows the shooter to always reference the original zero position on their Leupold, if further vertical corrections are needed in the field.

To set the zero and the zero stop on the Mark 5HD elevation dial, loosen the 2 set screws on the side of the turret. The 1.5mm hex key is included in the box. Rotate the turret to align your zero with the white guide line at the base of the elevation turret (the witness mark). As soon as you hit your zero, the lock-release button will pop out, locking the elevation adjustment into position. Tighten the set screws until the dial is secured in place.

Leupold Mark 5HD 3.6-18x44 MIL - Turrets
Leupold Mark 5HD 3.6-18x44 MIL - Turrets

5 Clicks Below Zero

The scope's elevation range also extends to 5 clicks below zero. We're always pleased to see a tactical scope that boasts this advanced feature. Sub-zero clicks are beyond helpful when you're attaching a clip-on device to your scope. Sometimes the shooter needs to dial a few clicks down to readjust the point of impact. Leupold Mark 5HD scopes give you enough wiggle room to make your 2 optics' POI align seamlessly together.

Another example were sub-zero clicks come in handy is using the scope in different conditions than it was zeroed in. If your riflescope was set to zero in the blazing sun at a gun range before the start of the season, you'll soon find that the device is no longer dead-center in cold weather. To fix the issue, you'll need to go a few clicks below, until your zero is back where it was on the range.

Leupold Mark 5HD 3.6-18x44 MIL - Uncapped Windage TurretLeupold Mark 5HD 3.6-18x44 MIL - Capped Windage Turret
Capped/Uncapped Windage Turret - Leupold Mark 5HD 3.6-18x44 MIL

Windage Turret

The windage turret has a lower profile than the elevation turret and is also smaller in diameter. Unlike the tall and exposed elevation turret, the windage adjustment is low and capped. Note that the turret underneath the cover is fully water-tight, so you don't need to use the aluminum cap. Leupold 5HD nuts and bolts are so dependable, that we almost always operate windage as an open turret.

With 23 MILs of travel altogether, the windage turret is another advantage of this Leupold 3.6-18x44 scope. That's more than enough windage range for easy zeroing and corrections in the field. The clicks on the windage dial are very loud and they also feel great. Even with the noise on the shooting range, it's easy to feel the adjustments.

The windage turret has a click value of 0.1 mRAD, the same as the elevation adjustment dial. The clicks on Leupold Mark 5HD 3.6-18x44 are pretty firm. As we said, if you decide to forego the cap and use the windage turret as an open turret, the chances of unintentionally moving the clicks are minimal.

Hard Stop

Leupold Mark 5HD 3.6-18x44 has a single-turn windage turret that nevertheless rotates in both directions. Be it clockwise or counter-clockwise, you get 5 MILs of windage adjustment.

When you dial to the end of the adjustment range in either direction, 5L or 5R, the turret stops. No further turret rotation can be made. So it's not possible to dial right past 5L, for example, and find yourself at 1R. This Leupold windage turret design with mechanical stops is quite inventive, as it prevents the user from making an error of an entire revolution.

Leupold Mark 5HD 3.6-18x44 MIL - Windage Turn Indicator
Leupold Mark 5HD 3.6-18x44 MIL - Windage Turn Indicator

Visual Turn Indicator

The windage turret has a visual turn indicator. The white line is not printed in the middle of the tube, but closer to the top of the scope. This is designed so that when you are looking from the shooter's POV behind the ocular, the line is more visible. These small tweaks and attention to detail show that Leupold Mark 5HD scopes are a culmination of many years' worth of experience in real-life situations.

We have a small bone to pick with Leupold designers here. The visual indicator and click lines aren't placed close enough. As it stands, it's still possible to miss the correct position for a few clicks. Compare that to competitor optics, like the March Genesis scopes where the indicator line nearly touches the windage clicks. Nevertheless, we do appreciate that there is a visual windage turn indicator on Leupold 3.6-18x44 Mark 5HD.

Visual Turn Indicator on March Riflescopes
Comparison: Visual Turn Indicator on March Riflescopes

Setting the Zero on Windage Turret

The windage turret is very easy to zero. You have to loosen the 3 horizontally-placed screws on the side of the turret. Next, dial the windage turret until your zero is aligned with the white line on the main tube. This line is your visual guide. Now just retighten the 3 screws and you're all set. Very easy.

All in all, we are impressed with Leupold Mark 5HD 3.6-18x44 turrets. Certainly one of the best tactical turret designs your money can get

Optical Properties

Leupold is a premium-level manufacturer of scopes and the optical performance of Leupold 3.6-18x44 fulfills the expectations. Image clarity is good. The scope has no tunneling effect whatsoever, not even on the low end of the 3.6-18x magnification range. 

The eye relief is from 89 to 96.5 millimeters, depending on the magnification. The eyebox is very good throughout the entire magnification range. It is not difficult to stay behind the scope and have the perfect image.

Leupold Mark 5HD 3.6-18x44 MIL - Objective Diameter: 53.3mm (2 inches)
Leupold Mark 5HD 3.6-18x44 MIL - Objective Diameter: 53.3mm (2 inches)

Field of View

The field of view on Leupold Mark 5HD 3.6-18x44 is also more than decent. On the lowest magnification setting (3.6x), the FOV is 9.4 meters at 100 meters. When set to 18x magnification, the field of vision is respectable 1.93 meters at 100 meters.

Compare that to the pricier Schmidt & Bender 3-18x42 scope in the same segment of exceptional MIL-MIL scopes, which has FOV from 8.3m to 1.4m/100m. Sig Sauer Tango6 3-18x44 (manufactured in Japan) is even more capable as it shows the field of view of 10.6m-1.9m/100m. But Leupold Mark5HD outshines them in other categories like turret design and reticle selection.

Leupold Mark 5HD 3.6-18x44 MIL Reticle

All available reticles for this Leupold Mark 5HD 3.6-18x44 scope are located in the first focal plane. The scope that we tested the most for this review was Leupold Mark5HD H59 FFP, with the Tremor model Mark 5HD 3.6-18X44 M5C3 FFP TMR right behind.  

There are plenty of reasons to love the Leupold Mark5 HD models, but one of the best is that there are so many different reticle options to choose from. With 4 illuminated and 6 non-illuminated reticles available, you're sure to find one that suits your needs. Plus, let's not forget that this Leupold Mark 5HD 3.6-18x44 scope is also available in MOA configuration, not just as a MIL-MIL tactical riflescope.

Check out all Leupold Mark 5HD RETICLES below!

  • Leupold Mark 5HD Reticle CCH FFP IlluminatedLeupold Mark 5HD Reticle: CCH FFP Illuminated
  • Leupold Mark 5HD Reticle: Tremor 3 FFP Illuminated
  • Leupold Mark 5HD Reticle: TMR (MK) FFP Illuminated
  • Leupold Mark 5HD Reticle: PR2-MIL FFP Illuminated
  • Leupold Mark 5HD Reticle: PR1-MIL FFP Illuminated
  • Leupold Mark 5HD Reticle: H-59 FFP Illuminated


The area of illumination depends on the selected reticle design. Some reticles light up entirely, while others feature only a finely illuminated center dot or a limited area of illumination. The illumination system can be controlled on the side turret dial. It's the same turret that also works the parallax setting.

Illuminated Leupold Mark 5 HD riflescopes have only 7 brightness levels. Even on the strongest setting, the Mark 5HD illumination is suitable for low-light use only. It is not daytime bright, which is obvious. The 2 dimmest levels are compatible with night vision. There's a switch-off step between each intensity level.

The CR2032 battery coin can be inserted by unscrewing the turret cap. To extend the battery life, Leupold Mark 5HD 3.8-18x44 uses a motion sensor technology that deactivates reticle illumination after 5 minutes of zero movement.

Leupold Mark 5HD 3.6-18x44 MIL - Flip-Up Lens Caps
Leupold Mark 5HD 3.6-18x44 MIL - Flip-Up Lens Caps

Scope of Delivery

What do you get in the box? The flip-open lens covers, which Leupold supplies in the product box, are made from plastic but they have a good fit. There's also the aluminum 3" sunshade that has a seamless fit, so it looks like an integral part of the scope. Leupold added a small screw that can replace the built-in lever on the magnification ring. You also get a thin Allen key for windage and elevation turret screws. Last but not least, enclosed in the box you'll find the Leupold Mark 5HD user manual and promo stickers with the Leupold logo.

Leupold Mark 5HD 3.6-18x44 MIL Riflescope - What's in the Box?
Leupold Mark 5HD 3.6-18x44 MIL Riflescope - What's in the Box?

Interested in More Leupold Mark 5HD Accessories?

Leupold Mark 5HD Warranty

The warranty period on Leupold Mark 5HD 3.6-18x44 scope is 10 years after purchase. As always, the electronic components that power the illumination are covered separately, with a 2-year guarantee. Leupold Mark5HD scopes are fully made in the United States.

If you need to repair your Leupold scope, the company offers several options. You can send your scope in for repair, or you can take it to a local authorized dealer. If you choose to send it in for repair, Leupold will cover the cost of shipping both ways. You also have the option of purchasing a warranty extension that will cover repairs for the life of the scope.

Leupold Mark 5HD 3.6-18x44 MIL - Made in the USA
Leupold Mark 5HD 3.6-18x44 MIL - Made in the USA

Leupold Mark 5HD 3.6-18x44 MIL Price

Tactical riflescope Leupold Mark 5HD 3.6-18x44 is available in a variety of different configurations, but the prices start at €2509. This is how much you'll pay for the basic MIL-MIL scope variant with non-trademarked reticles and without illumination. But if you choose Leupold Mark 5HD with illumination turret and the patented Horus reticle (H59) or other premium designs, the price goes up to €3309. 


Right off the bat, we were impressed with the super-short size of the optic. This tactical scope is very compact and weighs only 737 grams. The build quality is top-notch and there are user-focused details everywhere that make handling the scope a pleasure. 

The image is clear, including the view-through on high magnifications. The wide magnification range is a huge benefit of the Leupold Mark 5HD series. Obviously, we'd prefer the minimal magnification to be 3x over 3.6x. That would give the user a more generous field of view. But we understand that Leupold wanted this scope to keep the 5x zoom factor and fit in the Mark 5HD line.  

The next advantage are Leupold reticles. It's great that Leupold keeps so many reticle options in regular stock. With the exception of select premium brands like S&B, hard-to-please users need their preferred reticle custom-made. But the reticle selection of the Leupold Mark 5HD series is extensive.

See the VIDEO Review of Leupold Mark 5HD 3.6-18x44 MIL!

Beyond the reticle design, the user can also select if the reticle is illuminated or plain. Most tactical users won't ever find use in a light-up reticle. So if you don't need it, why pay for the extra frill? Leupold Mark 5HD 3.6-18x55 models without the illumination system are much less expensive. This adjustment of final Leupold Mark 5HD 3.6-18x44 MIL price according to the user's actual needs is much appreciated.

All illuminated Leupold Mark 5HD riflescopes have motion sensor technology (Leupold MST). After 5 minutes of no movement detected, the illumination will automatically shut off. That will save on CR2032 battery life. When you move the scope, the illumination instantly turns back on, on the same level as before.  

The next attractive feature of this 3.6-18x44 scope are the turrets. We like everything about these multi-turn turrets: reliable clicks, locking feature, turn indicator(s), and user-friendly markings. Despite being unobtrusive and relatively low-profile for a tactical turret, the elevation turret packs plenty of adjustment range, 30 MILs. So you'll be able to shoot with finesse on extremely long ranges. 

Pros Summary

  • throw lever
  • superb elevation turret
  • tactile and audible clicks
  • user-selectable features
  • great optics


Leupold Mark 5HD 3.6-18x44 MIL Riflescope
Leupold Mark 5HD 3.6-18x44 MIL Riflescope

There are some things we wish Leupold did differently. It's unfortunate that the white line that shows windage clicks isn't placed close enough to the turret dial. Bridging the bothersome gap would truly eliminate any chance of dialing past the intended click position. 

The parallax adjustment goes from 50 yards to infinity. We'd like to see the parallax wheel go even lower than that, from 10 yards if possible. A wider range of parallax adjustment would add even more flexibility to this 3.6-18x44 riflescope. With magnification power dialed all the way up and parallax set at 10 yards, shooters could observe finer details at close engagements.

The uncommon diameter of the 35-millimeter chassis might pose a difficulty when searching for the right mounting solution. Many manufacturers don't make 35mm ring mounts. It's good that Leupold makes suitable 35mm mounts themselves. However, for absolute reliability under duress, we recommend Spuhr, Tier-One, or INNOmount scope rings.

Cons Summary

  • turn indicator on the windage turret
  • parallax wheel starts at 50m
  • 35-milimater tube

Final Thoughts on Leupold Mark 5HD 3.6-18x44

Overall, we think the Leupold Mark 5HD 3.6-18x44 riflescope is an excellent optic fully made in the US. It's well-built with high-quality materials, and it features a ton of user-friendly details. The image is clear and the turrets are extremely reliable. We only wish that the white line indicating windage clicks was closer to the dial marks and that the parallax adjustment went a bit lower. But other than that, this scope is absolutely fantastic and would be a great addition to any shooter's gear.

Interested in this MIL-MIL riflescope?

Leupold Mark 5HD 3.6-18x44 MIL Photos

Review Date
Reviewed Item
Leupold Mark 5HD 3.6-18x44 MIL Riflescope
Author Rating
Product Name
Leupold Mark 5HD 3.6-18x44 MIL
EUR 3509
Product Availability
Available in Stock

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