Meta: The Leupold Mark 5HD 5 25×56 Rifle Scope is a high-end rifle scope with a long list of advanced, military-grade, and tactical features. Learn more here.
An In-Depth Review of the Leupold Mark 5HD 5 25×56 Rifle Scope
Unless you are forced to use open sighting when shooting, you will probably want optics for a long gun. Unfortunately (or fortunately, if you like choices) there is a glut of options from which you can choose. That can get confusing thanks to the seemingly endless number of options. Even if you are an experienced shooter with years of long gun ownership and even rifle scope ownership, under your belt, buying a new rifle scope can be a challenge.
The good news is that for those eager to invest in a top of the line option, with an array of features that impress most long gun shooters, the Leupold Mark 5HD 5 25×56 is available.
Meet the Leupold Mark 5HD 5 25×56
The common feedback about the Leupold Mark 5HD 5 25×56 rifle scope is extremely positive. It is described by those who use it as ideal for:
- Long-range shooters
- Shooters who require low weight
- Those who appreciate a lot of adjustment
- Owners requiring a scope with durability
- Those who need the ability to use high magnification
- Those who might favor smart turrets
Before we get too far into an in-depth review of the Leupold Mark 5HD 5 25×56, let’s take a look at the key factors buyers need to consider before investing in a rifle scope. Then, it is easier to evaluate the Leupold Mark 5HD 5 25×56 through that lens (no pun intended).
What to Consider with a New Rifle Scope
Optics have changed over time, but those involved in a rifle scope have not, and this is why the Leupold Mark 5HD 5 25×56 rates so highly with so many. It turns to “old school” dials and traditional optics to get the job done.
The main tube and objective lens are the heavy lifters of any scope, and the larger the diameter of the main tube, the greater the range of adjustment so crucial to long-distance targeting. That larger main tube also boosts the durability of the scope.
On the downside, the added material means added weight, and the higher the quality of the materials and rings holding the optics can boost price substantially.
As an example, a lot of scopes with 34mm rings will run well over $200, but the exchange in the price and added weight comes with the superior targeting capabilities.
Commonly overlooked criteria when selecting a rifling scope is whether an optic is argon or nitrogen purged to eliminate any water vapor (i.e., fogging inside of the glass). A good rifle scope is also shockproof and waterproof to the greatest extent possible.
And as to objective lenses, they too can add a lot of confusion. They can be as small in size as 20mm, but even up to 72mm. The most common sizing varies from 40mm to 50mm. Why go beyond that? With the larger lens, the rifle scope can bring in more light, meaning that a higher resolution and better shot is possible. This is particularly valuable to those who are shooting in lower lighting.
However, there is a trade-off with the larger objective lens in that the rifle scope is larger and has to be mounted higher. This enables clearance between the rifle barrel and the scope’s bell, which can then affect the consistency of cheek weld and scope to eye alignment (both key factors in accurate targeting).
The larger scopes make the long gun more challenging to carry due to heavier weight and a bulkier build.
The Quality of the Glass
As one expert from the NRA said of purchasing a premium rifle scope, buyers should avoid compensating “for low-quality glass and/or insufficient lens coatings by selecting a larger objective lens.”
What did they mean by low-quality glass? They mean that a buyer should look for a rifle scope with low to extra-low dispersion glass to eliminate color fringing and improve the contrast, color fidelity, and image sharpness seen through the scope.
All glass should be multi-coated as this enables optimal light transmission and brightness. All lenses should have a hydrophobic (waterproof) coating or a “rain guard” that helps remove any moisture from the exterior of the glass and the lens surfaces.
The Importance of the Focal Plane and Reticle
Again, with rifle scopes, there are many reticles from which you can choose, and the ideal choice is going to be based on your chosen target, your long gun, and the location you will shoot. The most common design is duplex, and it can feature crosshair or mil-dot targeting.
You will always want the reticle to be within the first focal plane and to leave the scale unchanged throughout the entire range of magnification options. Why? It gives far better ranging and allows for corrections in any setting.
When it is in the second focal plane, your image will adjust in size along with magnification and leave the reticle static. This locks the shooter into a specific magnification setting and leads to substandard targeting. There are some options for an illuminated reticle to boost sighting in low-light settings, and it can be very useful in many conditions.
This is a very subjective issue and some shooters want a 3X magnification per hundred yards, while others are less demanding and can do with a lot lower magnification. What is important to know is the “zoom ratio” that will read something like 1-8X or 2.3-18X, and so on. Whatever you choose is going to be based on the type of shooting you do and the length of the shots you take.
Adjusting and Turrets
Tactical turrets are a hot commodity with modern long-range shooters. Why? They make it easy and quick to adjust for elevation or wind. Even so, practice is required to learn which settings are the ideal for the individual shooter.
Tactical styled turrets are sought after because of their consistency and true “return to zero” function. They also have the option for mil-dot measurements rather than adjusting at ¼ to 1/8 inches.
Lining Up the Leupold Mark 5HD 5 25×56 W with the Best Rifle Scope Features
So, how does the Leupold Mark 5HD 5 25×56 line up with such information? Let’s look at each of those factors mentioned above:
- Size and weight
- Glass and optics quality
- Reticle and focal plane
- Turrets and adjusting
As is the case with most rifle scopes, the Leupold Mark 5HD 5 25×56 explains a lot of its features with its name. It is a 5-25x magnification range rifle scope. The objective lens is a stunning 56mm, and yet it weighs in at only 30 ounces. The tube size is 35mm and the focal plane is the most desirable first focal plane.
The 35mm main tube means that a shooter can enjoy the most flexible elevation and windage adjustment controls.
It adjusts to ¼ MOA (minute of angle) per click and it has adjustment ranges of 120 MOA for elevation, 60 MOA for wind, and 75 yards to infinity for parallax adjustments.
The Size and Weight of the Leupold Mark 5HD 5 25×56
The Leupold Mark 5HD 5 25×56 boasts a surprising lightweight for the overall size and quality of the design. It features what the manufacturer calls ultra-lightweight materials and construction, and yet it is also durable thanks to how the scope can disperse recoil energy.
As the maker of the Leupold Mark 5HD 5 25×56 indicated, the rifle scope is designed to “survive 5,000 impacts on the Punisher, Leupold’s recoil simulation machine. The force of each impact is 3x the recoil of a .308 rifle.”
Weighing only 30 ounces, it is sized at 15.67 inches in total length and features a 35mm tube (as noted). The entire rifle scope is 100% waterproof and fog proof, making it field ready at any time and under any conditions.
Glass and Optics Quality of the Leupold Mark 5HD 5 25×56
The Leupold Mark 5HD 5 25×56 stands apart where its glass and optics quality are concerned, as well as the technologies built into the rifle scope.
The Twilight Max HD system has been designed to bring in plenty of light in even the darkest or lowest light conditions. It is also designed to offer superior image quality and includes military-standard, scratch-resistant lenses that ensure the glass and optics remain in top condition.
As the manufacturer explains, the Twilight Max HD Light Management System can add up to an extra half of an hour when shooting in low light conditions. It also “eliminates 90% more glare-producing stray light than competitors,” and is among the few rifle scopes to offer edge to edge lens clarity.
Reticle and Focal Plane of the Leupold Mark 5HD 5 25×56
The reticle of this rifle scope expands on pre-existing mil-dot reticle design. It does this by using hash marks rather than dots to boost precision and range. It brings aim points to identify both bullet drop compensation as well as wind drop compensation.
A single MIL is roughly 3.6 inches at 100 yards, and with the spacing of the hash marks at .5 MILs apart, and shifting to .2 MIL on the outer edges, it empowers a shooter to aim truer than ever.
The Leupold Mark 5HD 5 25×56 also features the patented Fast-Focus eyepiece that offers the most rapid reticle focus imaginable. It features a side focus parallax adjustment that enables easy and quick focusing from almost any shooting position. It offers eye relief in low power of 3.58 inches and high power at 3.82 inches.
Using an FFP or front focal plane, the reticle magnifies within the image to ensure that a shooter can estimate the range at any magnification. This is an ideal reticle for tactical scenarios, of course, but it is also ideal for fans of target shooting as well as avid hunters.
Magnification and the Leupold Mark 5HD 5 25×56
As already explained, the Leupold Mark 5HD 5 25×56 brings a 5-25x magnification range. It also comes with a throw lever that enables instant magnification changes within the reticle. Offering the flexibility of a 5:1 zoom ratio, it brings a wider field of view at a much lower power. This enables extreme precision when at high power as well.
Turrets and Adjustments on the Leupold Mark 5HD 5 25×56
Two of the most appealing elements of the Leupold Mark 5HD 5 25×56 are its turrets and easy dial adjustments. It features the brand-new technology of the single turn CDS-ZL dial that locks only at zero and which, with a single button press, allows the shooter to dial up the elevation. With 1/10th MIL click adjustments, a good shot is almost guaranteed.
It also offers the Mark 4 dial illumination control that offers positive clicks and easy to read numerical intensity level indicators. It offers an illumination setting that enables a fast return to any preferred brightness setting. If you opt for an illuminated function, this feature will require a CR2032 Lithium Battery.
The Leupold Mark 5HD 5 25×56 is a practical and easy to use rifle scope designed to overcome some of the most common shooting challenges – wind, elevation, distance, and fine-tuning issues. The windage turret is capped and the elevation turret has a zero stop and rotation indicator, making fine-tuning a simple and easy process. Automatically clicking back to zero helps the shooter who may have gotten lost in tracking, and is a fantastic way to master the functions of the scope.
Well-suited to almost any long gun, the Leupold Mark 5HD 5 25×56, as one https://www.ammoland.com/2019/04/leupold-mark-5hd-5-25×56-riflescope-in-depth-review/explained, “allows the shooter to get the most out of their rifle, be it an inexpensive Savage or a high-end custom rifle.” It is a high-performance rifle scope that offers some of the easiest dial adjustments and one of the best reticles around. As noted earlier, a great scope often comes at a premium price, and this rifle scope is no different. However, for those who want a lot for the investment, this flexible, nicely designed, and rugged rifle scope is a great performer.