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Leupold VX-5HD 2-10×42 Riflescope Review | Optics Trade Review

The Leupold VX-5HD 2-10×42 is a hunting riflescope that was introduced in 2018. It is designed for short to medium range hunting, making it suitable for stalking.

Leupold VX-5HD 2-10×42 Rifle Scope Review | Optics Trade Review
Leupold VX-5HD 2-10x42
Leupold VX-5HD 2-10×42

About the Leupold

Leupold, a renowned company based in Beaverton, Oregon, USA, boasts a rich history dating back to 1907. Since its inception, it has remained a family-owned business, now proudly operated by the fifth generation of the Leupold family. Notably, Leupold holds the distinction of being the oldest manufacturer of sports optics in the United States.

The VX-5HD Series

The VX5-HD series of riflescopes all feature a 5x zoom factor. Presently, there are six available models to choose from.

  1. VX-5HD 1-5×24,
  2. VX-5HD 2-10×42,
  3. VX-5HD 3-15×44,
  4. VX-5HD 3-15×56,
  5. VX-5HD 4-20×52,
  6. VX-5HD 7-35×56.

The two largest models have a main tube diameter of 34 millimeters, while all other models feature a main tube diameter of 30 millimeters.

Leupold VX-5HD 2-10x42
Leupold VX-5HD 2-10×42

Physical Properties

The Leupold VX-5HD 2-10×42 features magnification ranging from 2x to 10x. The scope is constructed entirely of metal with no rubberized parts, apart from the rubberized button found on the side turret of the illuminated model.

The objective lens diameter measures 42 millimeters, while the outside diameter of the objective is 51 millimeters. With a magnification range of 2x to 10x, this riflescope is well-suited for use with clip-on night vision or thermal attachments due to its lower magnification. This allows you to fully utilize the field of view provided by your clip-on device.

The entire scope is designed to be shockproof, capable of withstanding the force of any hunting caliber. This means you can confidently use it on even the most powerful recoil calibers available. While Leupold does not explicitly state the operating temperature range, they assure that the scopes have been tested in extreme conditions. The scope is nitrogen purged, guaranteeing a fog-free experience even in freezing temperatures. Plus, it’s completely waterproof.

With a length of 320 millimeters and weighing a mere 530 grams, this rifle scope is remarkably lightweight.

Leupold VX-5HD 2-10x42
Leupold VX-5HD 2-10×42

European style eyepiece

The scope features a European-style eyepiece, with only the rear part rotating. The diopter setting can be adjusted by turning the ring next to the eyepiece. It offers a pleasing level of stiffness, which I personally appreciate. This design ensures that the settings remain unchanged even when carrying the rifle around, eliminating the possibility of accidental adjustments. In my opinion, this feature is perfect as it keeps everything securely in place.

Leupold VX-5HD 2-10x42
Leupold VX-5HD 2-10×42 features European style eyepiece

Magnification Ring

The magnification ring boasts a really nice texture, providing a perfect grip while using the scope. Additionally, the ring is equipped with a convenient throw lever, and an extra one is included in the box. The throw lever ensures an even more secure hold on the magnification ring and allows for quicker adjustments in magnification.

Leupold VX-5HD 2-10x42
Throw lever on the magnification ring


The reticle in this scope is located in the second focal plane, and currently, only one reticle option is available: the Duplex reticle. It is offered in both non-illuminated and illuminated versions, the latter featuring fiber optic illumination.

  • Illuminated Duplex Reticle
  • Non-illuminated Duplex Reticle

Illumination System

The illuminated reticle is exceptionally bright and remains visible even during daylight hours. It is equipped with an automatic turnoff feature, which deactivates the illumination after five minutes of inactivity. When any movement is detected, the illumination automatically turns back on at the same intensity setting that was previously selected. Leupold refers to this feature as motion sensor technology, which is available in almost all of their illuminated riflescopes.

There are a total of seven intensity settings available. Just as mentioned before, at the highest settings, the illumination is as daytime bright. The illumination system is situated on the left side turret. To activate it, simply press the button located in the middle of the turret.

The illumination system is powered by a single CR2032 battery, conveniently positioned in the battery compartment beneath the turret. With the automatic turn-off feature, the battery is expected to last for an extended period of time.

Leupold VX-5HD 2-10x42
Battery compartment

Fixed Parallax

The scope incorporates a fixed parallax set at 150 yards or 137 meters, which distinguishes it from most other riflescopes on the market. However, considering the lower magnification, I believe the precise distance, whether it is 100 or 150 yards, is of less significance in my opinion.


The elevation turret boasts a patented zero lock mechanism, complete with a zero-lock button conveniently positioned on the turret itself. This button secures the turret firmly in place when set to zero. Personally, I find this to be one of the most exceptional turrets available, particularly for hunting riflescopes. After making your desired adjustment, simply rotate the turret backwards and it will return to zero, locking the turret into position. Even when using the scope in low-light conditions with a clip-on attachment, there’s no need to worry about accidental movement of the turret or straying from zero.

Leupold VX-5HD 2-10x42
Elevation turret

The scope feature 1/4 MOA adjustment per click. With one full turn of the elevation turret, the adjustment increases by 20 MOA. In total, the turret provides two complete revolutions, resulting in a range of 40 MOA. However, the internal adjustment capability of the scope is even greater, with a range of 70 MOA or 204 centimeters at 100 meters.

Leupold VX-5HD 2-10x42
1/4 MOA adjustment per click

The zero lock button also serves as a turn indicator. As the turret completes its second revolution, the button seamlessly disappears into the turret, signifying that it has entered the second revolution. At this point, it’s important to shift your focus to the numbers on the top, rather than the bottom. This meticulous design, in my opinion, makes it one of the finest turrets available in the market.

Leupold VX-5HD 2-10x42
As the turret completes its second revolution, the button seamlessly disappears into the turret

Resetting The Turret To Zero

To reset the elevation turret to zero, simply loosen the screws on top of the turret and rotate it back to zero. Although it locks in place, there won’t be any noticeable clicks. Once you reach zero, tighten the three screws to secure the turret in its new position. This process is incredibly easy and quick to accomplish.

Windage Turret

The windage turret is equipped with an aluminum cap. Beneath the cap, you’ll find a plastic turret that offers 15 MOA windage adjustment per revolution. Notably, this turret is multi-turn, allowing for multiple revolutions.

The windage turret functions in a similar manner to the elevation turret, providing an internal adjustment range of 70 MOA or 204 centimeters.

The windage turret can be easily reset to zero. To do this, simply pull on the turret to make it freely rotatable. Then, rotate the turret so that the zero is facing forward and push it back down.

Leupold VX-5HD 2-10x42
Windage turret

The tactile feedback on both turrets is particularly pronounced, making it ideal for a hunting scope. Additionally, the clicks provide a satisfying sensation that enhances the overall experience.

Optical Performance

As mentioned earlier, the magnification ranges from 2x to 10x, accompanied by a 42 millimeters objective lens. Additionally, the zoom factor is five times.

At 2x magnification, the field of view is 18.8m at 100m. Even at the highest magnification, it remains at 3.8m at 100m. The field of view is exceptionally wide, especially at the smallest magnification. As previously mentioned, this wide field of view makes the scope ideal for night vision and thermal attachments, allowing you to see the entire field of view even in low-light conditions. This means you can fully experience what your front attachment has to offer.

The scope does not exhibit any tunneling effect, and its eye relief ranges from 94 to 96 millimeters. It is remarkably forgiving at all magnifications, allowing you to freely adjust your position without compromising the visual quality. Furthermore, the scope’s eye box is exceptional, enabling comfortable movement of your head while maintaining a clear and pleasant view through the scope.

In my opinion, the optical properties of Leupold VX-5HD 2-10×42 are excellent. The optical performance is outstanding, with a crisp image and accurate colors. However, there is a slight blurriness on the edge at 2x magnification. It is not significant, just a minor imperfection. Once you increase the magnification to 2.5x, the blurriness disappears completely. So, it only occurs below 2.5 times magnification. Nevertheless, I consider this blurriness to be unimportant because the field of view is more crucial than a slightly blurry image on the side. With a larger field of view, you can quickly engage or locate your target.

Leupold VX-5HD 2-10x42
Leupold VX-5HD 2-10×42

Mounting Solution

As previously mentioned, the main diameter of the tube is 30 millimeters. Therefore, to properly mount the scope onto the rifle, you will require 30 mm scope mount rings.

 Looking for a Scope Mount? Find it right below:

Price and Warranty

The scope, like all other riflescopes from Leupold, is designed, machined, and assembled in the United States. It also comes with a 10-year warranty. Depending on your preference for illumination, the price point ranges from approximately 1,370 euros to 1,470 euros.


Now, for a brief summary, let’s start with the positives – what I appreciate about the scope. First and foremost, the elevation turret. It boasts a low-profile design with a zero lock feature, making it, in my opinion, one of the finest options available on the market. Additionally, weighing just 530 grams, the scope is remarkably lightweight.

Another aspect I admire is the scope’s versatility in terms of reticle illumination. You have the option to choose between an illuminated or non-illuminated reticle. Opting for the non-illuminated version allows you to save 100 euros. As for the illuminated version, I particularly appreciate the presence of fiber optic illumination, providing excellent brightness for daytime use.

Pros summary:

  1. great elevation turret
  2. lightweight design
  3. optic fiber illumination system
Leupold VX-5HD 2-10x42
Leupold VX-5HD 2-10×42


Upon closer examination, there are a few areas where I believe improvements can be made. Firstly, the rubber component or gasket on the windage turret leaves something to be desired. Perhaps a different design could be implemented to prevent it from being easily misplaced when removing the cover, while also enhancing its aesthetic appeal.

Secondly, considering this is a premium hunting rifle scope from Leupold, I would suggest that the windage turret be crafted from aluminium and undergo some modifications to eliminate any wobbling. This would further elevate the overall quality and performance of the turret.

Cons summary:

  1. windage turret
Leupold VX-5HD 2-10x42
Leupold VX-5HD 2-10×42

Final Thoughts

In general, I believe Leupold VX-5HD 2-10×42 rifle scope has a versatile design that makes it well-suited for stalking and mountain hunting. Furthermore, due to its 2x magnification, it can also be used to a certain extent for driven hunting and elevated height hunting. While there are more specialized scopes available for these specific purposes, I believe that the magnifications offered by this scope allow for their use in these types of hunts as well. Additionally, for those with a lightweight rifle, this scope serves as an excellent and attractive option.

Looking for a Leupold VX-5HD 2-10×42? Find it below:

Review Date
Reviewed Item
Leupold VX-5HD 2-10x42 Riflescope
Author Rating
Product Name
Leupold VX-5HD 2-10x42
EUR 1329
Product Availability
Available in Stock



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