FAQs

Service & Repair

  1. Where do I send my scope for service, repair, or Custom Shop modification? How long does this typically take?

Riflescopes & Reticles

  1. Can I have a Bullet Drop Compensation (BDC) dial made for my scope? What information do I need to provide and how much will it cost?
  2. Can I have the reticle in my scope changed to another style?
  3. My scope is running out of internal adjustment travel before I get properly sighted in. How can I obtain more travel?
  4. Can I have an existing scope refinished?
  5. When was my scope manufactured?
  6. Why does my BAS reticle (Boone & Crockett Big Game; Varmint Hunter’s; LR Duplex®; LRV Duplex; and Custom, Ballistically Matched reticles) need to be used on a specific magnification setting?
  7. What is the difference between a front focal plane (1st focal plane) reticle and a rear focal plane (2nd focal plane) reticle?

Binoculars

  1. Do your binoculars have BAK4 prisms?
  2. What does Synergy Built mean?
  3. How do you rate your binoculars? (Which models are better than the others?)
  4. Which is the best Leupold binoculars for children?
  5. What are the advantages of roof prism and Porro prism binoculars?

Service & Repair

1. Where do I send my scope for service, repair, or Custom Shop modification? How long does this typically take?

When shipping product for warranty or service, please include a note of instruction, return address, telephone number, and e-mail address. If you are having a chargeable service performed (reticle change, target adjustment installation, replacement of damaged components, etc.), please do not include payment. You will be contacted by a Leupold representative. Please record the model and serial number of your product, and ship the optic only. Remove any mounts, rings, sunshades, or lens covers. It is recommended that you purchase insurance and retain a tracking number to document the arrival of your product. If you need any further assistance, please call our technical service department at 1-800-Leupold or (503) 526-1400.

Ship to:
Leupold & Stevens, Inc.
Attn: Product Service Dept.
14400 NW Greenbrier Parkway
Beaverton, OR 97006

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Riflescopes & Reticles

1. Can I have a Bullet Drop Compensation (BDC) dial made for my scope?

Yes, BDC Dials are available for many Leupold Scopes. For CDS (Custom Dial System) models, one free custom lasered BDC dial is provided and additional dials can be purchased for alternate loads and/or environmental conditions. Several other dials also have custom BDC lasering available. Also available are several ballistic reticles, if you prefer to hold over rather than dialing for range. Visit our Custom Shop Website at https://customshop.leupold.com to explore custom BDC options.

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2. Can I have the reticle in my scope changed to another style?

The Leupold Custom Shop can install a variety of reticle offerings in most Leupold scope. Visit our Custom Shop Website at https://customshop.leupold.com to see what reticles are available for installation in your scope.

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3. My scope is running out of internal adjustment travel before I get properly sighted in. How can I obtain more travel?

When encountering an issue involving exhausted adjustment travel it is likely related to the alignment between the scope and barrel. When producing a firearm, there are many different components, each having a tolerance specification. As these tolerances “stack,” the alignment between the receiver and the barrel changes; this is why 10 seemingly identical rifles will all require different amounts of scope adjustment to sight-in. This is also why some scopes will reach the end of the adjustment travel without properly aligning to the bore; running out of adjustment before you can place the bullet in the center of the target.

This issue can be rather frustrating to the average rifleman who simply wants to sight-in and leave the adjustments in a single position, but to the long-range shooter who makes adjustments more often, the issue is compounded. People often want to know “how far can I shoot” with a particular scope, meaning how much elevation adjustment they will have for long-range shooting. This is not a question that can easily be answered because of the previously mention tolerance stack. As an example, let’s take 2 of the same 10 seemingly identical rifles mentioned earlier and see what happens when used for long-range shooting; both rifles are chambered in .308 Winchester, will be shooting 168 grain match-grade ammunition, and are mounted with scopes with having MOA of total adjustment travel (35-MOA up and 35-MOA down from center).

Due to differing tolerances, rifle #1 requires 10-MOA of down adjustment from the scope to be sighted in at 100 yards and rifle #2 requires 10-MOA of up adjustment. This means that the scope on rifle #1 will have 45-MOA of up adjustment remaining, allowing the shooter to make the proper correction for shots up to 1,070 yards; rifle #2 will have 25-MOA of up adjustment remaining, allowing the shooter to make the proper correction for shots up to 780 yards. Even though the rifles seem exactly the same, #2 will require a long range base or shims much sooner than rifle #1.

Elevation issues can be resolved by shimming. If more up adjustment is required, the rear of the base needs to be shimmed between the receiver and the base. If you need more down adjustment, the front base needs to be shimmed. In making this adjustment it should be noted each 0.001″ thickness of shim equates to approximately 1-MOA (1 inch at 100 yards) correction. Shimming does not induce stress on the scope, but typically reduces stress by properly leveling the scope to be parallel with the receiver.

If an issue exists on the windage axis, the correction needs to be made with windage adjustable bases or rings. Leupold offers windage adjustable bases (STD) which have two windage screws holding the rear ring. By loosening one side and tightening the other, they shift the rear of the scope right or left. It should be noted that shifting the rear of the scope to the left will cause the point of impact to shift to the left and vise versa. It should also be noted that if one axis is near the limit of its adjustment, there will be a reduction in the amount of adjustment on the other axis. If the elevation adjustment is near the top of the adjustment range, the windage adjustment will be reduced; if windage adjustment has been induced, there will be a reduction in elevation adjustment. This can be illustrated by drawing a circle on a piece of paper to represent the maintube of a scope. If you start in the center of the circle with your pencil, you can move an equal distance in any of the four directions: up, down, left, or right. If you start in the center of the circle and move upwards toward the top of the circle, you will see that the distance remaining to the left and right has been diminished. The same is true in any direction; if you start in the center of the circle and move to the left, you will have diminished travel to adjust up or down.

** It is not uncommon for lower quality optics to have more adjustment travel than their higher quality counterparts for a number of reasons, but is typically due to the use of smaller, less expensive internal components. When smaller parts are placed in the same size housing (maintube), they will have the ability to move farther, but will also have negative aspects relating to image quality and durability.

In the diagrams above, the outer circle represents the maintube of the scope when looking through the optic. The black dot represents the erector system, or internal lens cluster that is moved when making windage/elevation adjustments on the scope. The thin lines help illustrate the amount of travel remaining on the opposite axis as windage/elevation adjustments are made; helping illustrate how an adjustment in one direction limits the amount of travel in the other.

  • 1. Represents a scope with the erector system in the center of the adjustment travel range; allowing for maximum adjustment travel on the elevation axis (the same is true for windage when the erector system is centered).
  • 2. Represents a scope with the erector system in the center of the adjustment travel range; allowing for maximum adjustment travel on the windage axis (the same is true for elevation when the erector system is centered).
  • 3. Represents a scope with the erector system near the end of the available travel in the up direction; drastically reducing the amount of windage travel remaining.
  • 4. Represents a scope with the erector system near the end of the available travel in the left direction; drastically reducing the amount of elevation travel remaining.
  • 5. Represents the scope on rifle #1 in the above example; when sighted-in at 100 yards.
  • 6. Represents the scope on rifle #2 in the above example; when sighted-in at 100 yards.

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4. Can I have an existing scope refinished?

Unfortunately, we cannot refinish a scope. To effectively remove scratches, dings, or ring marks, the affected area must be replaced. In these instances the Leupold Custom Shop can replace the maintube, or other external parts. Call 1-800-Leupold to learn more.

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5. When was my scope manufactured?

Every Leupold scope produced since 1974 will have a letter included in the serial number acting as a date-code. Scopes using a letter as a prefix (the beginning of the serial number) were produced between 1974 and 1992. Scopes using a letter as a suffix (the end of the serial number) have been produced after 1992. On the chart below, you will notice the letters “I,” “O,” and “Q” have been omitted as they are easily mistaken for “1,” “0,” and “0” respectively.

Prefix Suffix
E = 1974 A = 1993
F = 1975 B = 1994
G = 1976 C = 1995
H = 1977 D = 1996
J = 1978 E = 1997
K = 1979 F = 1998
L = 1980 G = 1999
M = 1981 H = 2000
N = 1982 J = 2001
P = 1983 K = 2002
R = 1984 L = 2003
S = 1985 M = 2004
T = 1986 N = 2005
U = 1987 P = 2006
V = 1988 R = 2007
W = 1989 T = 2008
X = 1990 U = 2009
Y = 1991 V = 2010
Z = 1992 W = 2011
X = 2012
Y = 2013
AA = 2014
AB = 2015
AC = 2016

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6. Why does my BAS reticle (Boone & Crockett Big Game; Varmint Hunter’s; LR Duplex; LRV Duplex; and Custom, Ballistically Matched reticles) need to be used on a specific magnification setting?

Leupold Ballistics Aiming System reticles such as the Boone & Crockett Big Game; Varmint Hunter’s; LR Duplex; LRV Duplex; or the Custom, Ballistically Matched reticles are typically installed in scopes with a rear focal plane design; allowing the user to “tune” the reticle for use with multiple loads. Changing the magnification in rear focal plane designs changes the subtension of the reticle, effectively changing the amount of holdover provided by the long-range aim points of these reticles. This can be observed by placing the main aim point (crosshair) in the center of a target, changing the magnification, and observing the resulting effect on subtension. The observer will notice that though the main aim point remains in the center of the target, the holdover points appear to move “up” the target as magnification increases, and “down” the target as magnification decreases. As such, faster loads with flatter trajectories will require a higher magnification setting than slower loads with more bullet drop. It is important to note that since the main aim point is located directly in the center of the field, it does not move as the magnification changes; this allows users of these reticles to sight-in on any magnification setting.

One example commonly used to help visualize this effect involves viewing a deer 400 yards away with a fictitious scope ranging from 1x to 100x. If the scope is set to 1x magnification and the main aim point is placed directly on his shoulder, the deer appears rather small and occupies very little of the visual field. Because the deer appears small and only occupies the very center of the field, the 400-yard aim point is located well below the deer, representing many feet of drop. As the magnification is increased, the main aim point remains on the deer’s shoulder, but he begins to fill more of the visual field. When 100x is reached his shoulder fills the entire visual field, placing the 400-yard aim point only inches below the main aim point. The result is that as magnification is increased, the target begins to fill more of the visual field, making the holdover points appear to “walk” up the target, thus representing less drop. As magnification is decreased, the target gets smaller, making the holdover points appear to “walk” down the target, thus representing more drop.

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7. What is the difference between a front focal plane (1st focal plane) reticle and a rear focal plane (2nd focal plane) reticle?

A rear focal plane reticle design creates a situation where the apparent size of the reticle does not change as the magnification is adjusted. In these scopes, the amount of target area covered by the reticle is inversely proportional to magnification; as the magnification is increased, the amount of target area covered by the reticle is decreased. This can be seen by looking through a variable magnification scope and increasing the magnification setting. As the power is increased, the apparent size of the target is increased, but the reticle appears to remain the same size; the result is that the reticle covers less of the target when the magnification is increased.

Rear Focal Plane Reticles – Many hunting scopes are designed with rear focal plane reticles. This allows the reticle to appear bolder and heavier when set to low magnification, but appear thinner and more precise when set to high magnification. Most hunters set variable magnification scopes to a mid-level magnification for general carry situations, reducing magnification in low-light or heavy cover situations, and increasing magnification for longer, more precise shooting solutions. Rear focal plane designs allow the reticle to appear bolder in low light, making them easy to see and faster to acquire when the light is fading. This same property is advantageous in situations where heavy cover may be encountered, allowing easy differentiation between the reticle and vegetation. If a longer distance shot is to be taken, the magnification can be increased, creating a situation where the reticle covers less of the target, allowing the user to be more precise.

Front Focal Plane Reticles – Mil and MOA based reticles are based on a specific subtension and require exact feature spacing to be accurate. If this type of reticle is used in a rear focal plane design, the scope must be used on a single, specific magnification (typically high power). Placing this type of reticle in a front focal plane design allows the operator to use the scope on any magnification while retaining the exact spacing of the reticle features.

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Binoculars

1. Do your binoculars have BAK4 prisms?

All of our Leupold and Redfield binoculars utilize BAK4 prisms.

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2. What does Synergy Built mean?

The Synergy Built project represents a combined redesign effort from a dedicated team of professionals at our Leupold headquarters in Beaverton, Oregon. This collection of professionals has worked extensively on a total re-creation of our Observation products involving: Optical Engineering, Design Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Manufacturing Engineering, and Quality Assurance Testing. The results are a line of binoculars and spotting scopes that is unlike any other in the industry.

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3. How do you rate your binoculars? (Which models are better than the others?)

Similar to our riflescope product line of VX-1, VX-2, VX-3, etc, we have redesigned the features and performance of our binocular and spotting scope product lines to align with our riflescopes regarding the different levels of glass quality, internal lens coatings, external lens coatings, etc. Our entry-level products are labeled as BX-1 for binoculars and SX-1 for spotting scopes, mid-level products are labeled as BX-2 and SX-2, high-level products are labeled as BX-3, and our premium-level made in USA products include our familiar golden ring.

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4. Which is the best Leupold binocular for children?

The Yosemite is the best choice because of its lower magnification; wide field of view; compact, but easy-to-use size; and wide interpupillary distance adjustment range.

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5. What are the advantages of roof prism and Porro prism binoculars?

Roof prism binoculars are lighter and have a closer focus distance. Roof prism binoculars also have a more stream-lined design. Porro prism binoculars often cost less than roof prism binoculars and can provide better depth perception.

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Two hunters walking in an open field