Leupold Mark 4 3.5-10x40mm LR/T M1 scope with illuminated Mil-Dot Reticle.
The Leupold scope I mounted on the Kimber Advanced Tactical test rifle also represents the current state-of-the-art in sniper equipment. The Leupold Mark 4, 3.5-10x40mm LR/T is a versatile unit that allows a low power setting (3.5x) for the close situations police snipers may face, with a top magnification (10x) adequate for long range precision. The Mark 4 series features 30mm main tubes for increased light transmission, side-turret focus for precision parallax correction and accurate, repeatable elevation and windage adjustments. This scope is the M1 variant with 1/4 Minute-of-Angle adjustments and includes an illuminated Mil-Dot reticle. The reticle illumination system is a nice option that allows the center portion of the reticle to glow red for limited light situations, and the intensity of the illumination can be adjusted to your needs. For agencies that use add-on night vision units for their sniper rifle (like the Simrad KN200), an illuminated reticle is a must-have option.
There are an endless variety of so-called sniper scopes on the market, many costing a fraction of the Leupold’s substantial price. I’ve learned the hard way that you get what you pay for with high-quality optics. Even high-end brands with equivalent optical performance often lack the proven ruggedness and user-friendly controls of a Leupold. Although I haven’t seen all sniper scopes shoot the “square,” a test for elevation and windage adjustments, I haven’t seen any other scope beat the Leupold Mark 4 for accuracy and repeatability of adjustments. With the exception of the US Marine Corps, Leupold essentially owns the market with top police and military sniper teams, and for a very good reason; they combine great optics and precision adjustments with extreme ruggedness and reliability.
About the Author Richard Fairburn is a Critical Incident and Firearms Trainer.