Longrange shooting expert, Loyal Brezny, reviews the Leupold Mark AR MOD 1 Riflescope with Federal Premium EDGE TLR, long range big game cartridge..
USA – -(Ammoland.com)-The scope sight world is changing fast.
Today many more shooters are paying attention to what is necessary in order to move away from the old standard hold over sighting method when increasing shooting range. The age of the open sight adjustment turret system has arrived, and a solid example of this development is the introduction of the Leupold Mark AR MOD 1 Scope within varied shooting circles.
Built on a one inch tube that is similar to the construction of the Leupold VX-II, this scope makes use of a tactical open turret sighting adjustment system that mirrors military and competitive target offerings. When shooters want to increase range, build range cards that indicated exact m.o.a hold over information (D.O.P E,) the use of the adjustable open turret is absolutely mandatory.
Designed as a mid weight and length AR rifle platform scope this 40 mm objective m.o.a. reticle system will fill the needs of 5.56 AR shooters. However, in terms of testing this optics system in a real world environment I turned to the Mossberg Scout Rifle in 308 Winchester.
Leupold Mark AR MOD 1 Scope
First up for consideration was the scopes ability to zero at 100 yards, then with elevation and windage changes return to the correct starting at zero impact point.
Test loads for this project involved the band new not yet press released Federal ‘s Premium EDGE TLR, 175 grain long range big game cartridge. According to Federal Cartridge this 308 round has been designed as a 30 caliber bullet to take big game class animals to ranges as great as 900 yards with accuracy and bullet performance dependability.
In effect, a perfect choice to push the Leupold sighting system to its absolute limits.
As applied to the Scout Rifle in 308 chambering and this review, I owned my 600 yard steel target test range with ease after turning to my ballistic computer in a hand held device, and then gaining some solid down range firing solutions that I could put on paper based on the Hornady DOF Calculator.
Now all that remained was to reference my newly developed range card then click up on the open 0.1 per graduation m.o.a. turret for the indicated elevation, and send the new 175 grain space age bullet down range. Elements I was looking for during this test were any light gathering errors as in fringe (edge) rainbow images, target clarity flatting out at longer ranges, mirage factors, and any basic failure to end up on the correct m.o.a click as in actual elevation changes in inches when target ranges were extended.
After zeroing the scope and clicking the turret to a true zero setting I proceeded to shoot a 100 yard dead center zeroing round on painted steel. After that I elevated the Firedot-G TMR hashmarks one at a time per individual round four times.
This printed a very uniform if not exact eight inch elevation with bullet spacing exactly two inches apart. The TMR reticle system while looking like an m.o.a system actually produces single round elevation per hash mark of two inches at 100 yard. As it turned out this was an ideal system as applied to the Federal TLR long range 175 grain 308 bullet., as the reticles 3.5 hash marks from center zero placed bullets in a single m.o.a. group at 400 yards, then working back to one hundred yards, I realized that I had hair in the scope cross hairs across the whole span of 100 through 400 yards as applied to deer sizes animals. In other word, this is a dandy reticle as it stands for 308 chambered rifles, as well as the previous turret designed .223 , 55 grain bullet Actual m.o.a turret marks in 0.1 graduations are used on the open turret knob. This allows a full 100 total clicks externally giving away 10 m.o.a in elevation to the turret system. Now, add the TMR reticle at another 10 hash marks with that two inch elevation built in, and you have a small light weight narrow turret system that will give the shooter a full 30 inches of adjustable elevation ( halving the scope ) for longer range shooting.
If you don’t like that setup, Leupold will build you a custom turret knob that will carry your exact requested elevation graduations. If you want the turret in say 300 Blackout fine. At a small cost the scope becomes a custom elevation turret setup to your requested cartridge. Just click and shoot is the name of that game, but be advised this setup is only for a single cartridge and other turret caps would have to be made re additional cartridges and loads.
In the event you want anything special added on as applied to the MARK AR the scope is designated as Leupold “custom shop” acceptable for reticle, turret, or other changes desired in the scope sight.
With a base price for the scope of just under $300.00 less any changes, the tube I was using carried a MSRP that landed at just under $400.00 with its supplied .223 55 grain bullet reticle, and Firedot low light optical system. Firedot itself is a standard feature with Leupold, and the system functions with a very simple button on the left side of the turret that with a single push will increase illumination. I shot the lighting system in bright mid day light with no problems keeping the small green dot in check. A nice system for low light work on late in the day encountered critters, or night shooting hogs by way of example.
As a final real time field test I moved to some local back country and turned the new Leupold glass loose on some grass rats.
Time constraints didn’t allow me to get the new glass up and on coyotes or other larger critters, but rest assured when paired, the Mossberg Scout Rifle, and new Federal long range TLR ammo, took out a significant number of prairie dogs that were in effect vaporized.
The MARK AR produced clear images even well out to 600 plus yards, and in the second focal plane allowed change in magnification with ease as in locating targets, then increasing scope power to get good bullet placement at the shot. In terms of the hunter/ shooter that is looking for a practical well built scope sight with custom feature available after purchase, I believe that the Leupold MARK AR as matched to carbines, AR class rifles, or short walking / calling rifles is an ideal field setup.
* Note to readers: This review in no way condones the application of massively extended ranges when taking big game. Testing in this case on steel targets and local varmint populations was conducted to obtain detailed information as to the Leupold MARK AR’s ability to send the mail accurately when high quality ammunition was use. It is not that I have anything against long shots as I shoot many days at steel plates as far as one mile or more away, but warm targets as in protected game is a whole different story in my book of rules. More on that subject on still another day.
About the Author L.P. Brezny:
With more than 50 years experience in the field and the testing lab, author L.P. Brezny is one of today’s most recognized shotgun experts and authors. He is a contributor to dozens of firearms publications, such as Wildfowl, Shotgun Sports, and Varmint Hunters, and he is a regular columnist in the Gun Digest annual. Be sure and check out his newest book: Long Range Shooting, Second Edition