Leupold Mil Dot reticle
The Leupold Mark 4 line of tactical scopes has been a mainstay in the tactical scope market for over 30 years now. For many years Leupold probably had more high quality tactical scopes available than any other maker on the market. Their original Mark 4 Ultra was a fixed 10x40mm scope developed for military use and is an extremely rugged scope. The US Army adopted it for use on the M24 SWS where it still continues to serve. They also have a 16x40mm version which was designed for extreme range use with a huge amount of vertical adjustments. Since the Mk4 Ultra, Leupold has taken some of their commercial models and turned them into Mark 4 tactical scopes and while they do not have all of the same features as their military Ultra scopes, they have continued to be some good upper mid-range scopes. Leupold has also recently joined the very high end tactical scope market with their Mark 6 and Mark 8 series of scopes. Over the years we at Sniper Central have probably used more Leupold tactical scopes than any of the other brands, but we have only done a single full review of the Leupold scope that is used on the US Army M110 SASS rifle. We thought it might be a good time to take an in depth look at one of the basic midline Mark 4 scopes. The 4.5-14x50mm model is one of the more popular models used by many Law Enforcement agencies in the USA and we thought this would be a good representation of the Mark 4 lineup. We elected to bring in a standard Mark 4 LR/T 4.5-14x50mm with M1 knobs and a Mildot reticle for this review.
Leupold & Stevens, or more commonly known as just Leupold, has been around since 1907 and is a fifth generation family owned American based company located in Beaverton Oregon. They were originally founded as a survey equipment company which is what they did through the First World War and great depression. Leupold was an innovator in water level recording equipment in those early years and it was during World Ward 2 that they also worked on Navy optics and learned a great deal about water and weather proofing optics. It wasn’t until after the Second World War that they branched off into the rifle scope making business and then a few years later they used some knowledge gained from working on military optics to introduce the first nitrogen purged rifle scope. Nitrogen purging is where all of the air is removed from the internal of a scope and then replaced by pure nitrogen, the result is a scope that will not fog internally. Over the years since then, Leupold has introduced many other innovations that we mostly take for granted in modern day scopes, such as the duplex reticle.