Leupold Mark 5HD 5-25x56, is it worth it?

Leupold Mark 5HD 5-25x56, is it worth it?

First Look

The leupold Mark 5HD 5-25x56 is a very popular scope in the USA as is the brand Leupold being an ‘All American Company’ but here in the UK we don’t see as many Leupold scopes. As a brand it offers rugged reliability, crystal clear glass but at a sensible price, the Mark 5HD follows that trend but with lots of extra features. The first thing you notice when you pick up the scope is how light it is (850grams), when you compare it to something heavy like the Vortex Razor HD Gen II (1374grams) it’s hard to think they have crammed in all its long-range ability into such a light-weight scope. It is a good-looking optic finished in matte black and comes with big chunky elevation turrets which would be easy to operate with gloves or in wet conditions, an added extra is the throw lever on the magnification ring, most manufacturers don’t supply one so it is nice to have this little extra thrown in.

 

Reticles

Leupold have a wide selection of reticles for their scopes across the board, the Mark 5HD is available in FFP PR-1Mil, TMR, FFP PR2-Mil, FFP PR2-MOA, PR1-MOA, CCH, H59 and Tremor 3. However, with UK availability being slightly different we stock the TMR and the CCH but any of the reticles from the list are available to special order. You can have the scope in MRAD or MOA and they also offer an Illuminated version with 7 brightness settings.

 

The Glass

The first thing you notice with this scope is the clarity when looking at something down range, Leupold glass has always been good, but this is exceptional! They have also focused on something that has plagued Leupold for years which is light transmission, they have developed a leading glare reduction technology which provides a clear image in harsh or direct light while retaining resolution. When testing this scope at well over 1000yds you could really notice the difference between some of the other optics we were using, the 5-25 magnification is perfect, any higher and on a warm day you often find the image is distorted.



The Turrets

This is an area where I think the Mark 5HD comes into its own and offers something that other optic companies don’t. Leupold have developed a system called ‘ZeroLock’ which means you can set the scope up, zero it to your rifle and then instead of messing around and taking caps off, using the supplied allen key, loosen the two turret screws, turn the turret back to zero, tighten the two screws and you are finished. This is something I think is very important in the target/hunting world, the number of times I have had to use hold over or had to remember I was 0.3 mil higher because setting the zero stop was such a faff. This system is so quick and easy to you use if you need to make a small adjustment to your zero quickly you can do it, often on stalking trips you are required to zero before setting off, you will find that sometimes your zero has changed since you last shot so this system allows you to adjust it very easily and quickly rather than losing your turret caps in the field. A nice little added benefit for the target shooters is the ability to add down elevation past the zero stop, so if you are shooting below your zero distance you can still confidently dial. The turrets also feature a handy tactile indicator which will show when you have dialled a full revolution so you don’t lose count – nice little touch!

 

Long Range Ability

In the target world one of the biggest thing shooters are looking for is plenty of elevation, we normally compare the amount of elevation in MOA or MRAD. Entry level scopes like the Vortex Venom 5-25x56 have around 85 MOA/25 MRAD which is fairly standard for a long-range optic, you will ideally want around 65 MOA to reach a 1000yd target. Again, the Mark 5HD does very well in this category coming in with 120 MOA/35 MRAD, this means you won’t have to hold at extended distances, and you can accurately dial well past 1000yds!

 

Verdict

+ Excellent easy to use turrets and zero-stop features

+ Glass clarity is above a lot of other optics in its price range

+ Leupold offer a Lifetime warranty with all of their optics, so you know you are covered

+ Rugged and reliable, with their excellent reputation you know you’re getting a quality well-made product

- Illumination doesn’t come as standard like lots of other scopes in class.

- Although a light-weight scope the Mark 5HD is quite large so could be considered a little too big for a hunting rifle.

- The tube size is 35mm so finding the right mounts you want can sometimes prove difficult.

In summary if you are looking for one scope to do everything this is probably it! With its combination of being light weight with very clear glass and lots of long-range ability you really could use this in both a hunting scenario and down the range!

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Posted by Matt Cook
9th February 2022

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