Leupold VX2 3-9×40 Review: Is This Worth Purchasing?

leupold vx2 3-9x40 review - the scope installed on a rifle and shotgun

Whether you’re a novice hunter who’s just getting started or an expert sportsman with a trophy room that would make Daniel Boone green with envy, you’re only as good as your optics! Choosing the right scope is a vital step in planning the perfect hunting trip or competitive shoot. Our Leupold VX2 3-9×40 review compares and contrasts the VX2 with several other popular offerings on the market today.

In order to help you make the best choice, we’ve compared these models using five criteria: price, ease-of-use, accuracy, durability and warranty terms.

What Is the Leupold VX2 3-9×40?

The Leupold VX2 3-9×40 is a popular mid-range rifle scope with hunters and competitive rifle shooters. The Leupold family has been manufacturing rifle scopes for five generations, ever since Marcus Leupold – one of the company’s founders – was unable to bag a deer on a hunting trip after his rifle scope fogged up. Since then, the Leupold name has become synonymous with no-frills, reliable, well-built optics that provide good value for the money.

Leupold VX2

Image from Amazon

Customers choose Leupold for their reliable, easy-to-use, versatile product offerings, and their award-winning customer service. The Leupold VX2 3-9×40 is one of their most popular offerings, and thousands of happy Leupold customers pay credit to their consistently high-quality builds and reliable performance after a successful deer season.

Leupold VX2 3-9×40 Review: Specs

Leupold VX

Image from Amazon

The Leupold VX2 3-9×40 is a good choice for anyone who’s in the market for a good all-round hunting scope. Leupold’s Index Matched Lens System maximizes light transmission, which improves image quality. Additionally, Leupold customizes the lens coatings for each individual scope that leaves their factory, further improving sharpness and brightness. Exaggerated knurling on focus adjustment knobs and turrets allows for rapid adjustments, aiding in on-the-go target acquisition.

While the other offerings in our Leupold VX2 3-9×40 review use nitrogen to prevent lens-fog accumulation, Leupold uses a proprietary mixture of Argon and Krypton, further preventing the accumulation of condensation in damp environments. Finally, Leupold applies their trademark DiamondCoat protective coating to any scope that leaves their factory. This protects your lenses from abrasions even in the harshest of conditions!


This scope provides excellent value for the money. While it’s slightly more expensive than two of the comparable offerings featured in our Leupold VX2 3-9×40 review, it’s a bargain when stacked up against premier product offerings. You can purchase it directly from the manufacturer, but the bargain-buyer can likely find it listed on Amazon.com, Ebay or MidwayUSA for a promotional price. Leupold has a track record of providing premium performance at a mid-market price point.

How It Compares

We picked a few similar products available on the market to see how they compare:

Leupold VX2 3-9×40

Leupold LP120611-BRK VX-2 3-9X40Mm CDS Matte
  • Made using the highest quality materials
  • Tested for durability
  • Designed to be waterproof

Ease of Use

The Leupold VX2 3-9×40 features finger-adjustable turrets, making adjustments simple. Users report that the scope remains aligned for over 12 months once adjusted, even after spirited and regular use!

The LR Duplex reticle features asymmetrical posts; the upper post and side posts are longer than the bottom post, enabling the shooter to make off-the-cuff elevation calculations without making any manual adjustments to the scope. Setup is simple enough for novice hunters, but the scope has enough “bells and whistles” to satisfy an intermediate sportsman.


Windage and elevation can be adjusted at 1/4 MOA per click from a range of 100 yards; each has a range of 52 MOA. Knurling on the focus adjustment knob allows for on-the-fly adjustments while in the field, allowing users to bag that prize buck before it slips into the tree-line!

Not sure about the appropriate power setting for your ammo? The Leupold VX2 3-9×40 features a special ballistics indicator that can help! The combination of these features, coupled with Leupold’s custom lens coatings for each individual scope that ships from their factory, makes the Leupold VX2 3-9×40 an extremely accurate scope when compared with similar product offerings.


Leupold fills their scopes with a mixture of Argon and Krypton. This waterproofs the scope and prevents lens-fog. The lenses are coated with Leupold’s DiamondCoat protective covering, which prevents abrasions and scratches that will compromise accuracy over the life of the product.

Since lenses tend to be the “first to go”, this improves the product’s longevity by a significant margin. Covers are included to protect the scope when it’s out of action. Users report that the VX2 performs well in harsh conditions; the scope’s performance should continue undiminished for many years!


Leupold shines when it comes to customer service; this product is offered with a lifetime warranty.


  • Top-notch image quality
  • Lightweight and durable
  • Allows for on-the-fly target acquisition
  • Excellent value given the price tag
  • Lifetime warranty and great customer service


  • No parallax
  • No sunshade included
  • Users complain that turrets feel “cheap”
  • Some report occasional problems with lens fog

Nikon Buckmasters II 3-9×40 BDC

Nikon Buckmasters II 3-9x40 Riflescope BDC Matte
  • Multiple layers of anti-reflective compounds on every glass surface provide bright, vivid...
  • Positive-click reticle adjustments get you zeroed in quicker and maintain your setting,...
  • Spot On allows you to discover all of the exact aiming points on your scope’s reticle at...

The stand-out feature of the Buckmasters II 3-9×40 is Nikon’s anti-reflective technology. This scope features a series of lenses coated with multiple layers of a proprietary anti-reflective blend that increases dissemination of light and reduces reflection by 92%. This produces brighter, clearer scope imagining, optimizing optics at all light levels. Higher contrast and starker colors cause the target to “pop”, making target acquisition easier.

Ease of Use

The scope’s eyepiece is 44mm in diameter, so users should take care to install the scope high enough to clear their rifle’s moving components. Rings are not included, and users will occasionally order low-profile rings only to learn that the scope’s mounting position interferes with the movement of the bolt. 


This scope’s calibration allows for on-the-fly aim adjustments at a wide range of distances. The scope holds zero during transit and while navigating difficult terrain.


This scope is capable of handling extreme conditions and harsh environments. The housing is waterproof, fog-proof, and sealed by O-Rings. The scope is filled with nitrogen gas in order to minimize lens-fog and image distortion. This is the most durable scopes you can own; some enthusiasts have one for each of their hunting rifles!


This product is offered with Nikon’s Limited Lifetime Warranty. Nikon guarantees that the product is free from any material defects or manufacturing errors while the product is still owned by the original purchaser. This warranty is non-transferable.


  • Holds zero aim consistently
  • Optics are clear and bright
  • Waterproof
  • Users report almost no challenges with lens fog


  • Some comparable models feature sharper imaging
  • Some users report that thick crosshairs can obscure targets

UTG 3-9X32 1” BugBuster Scope

UTG 3-9X32 1" BugBuster Scope, AO, RGB Mil-dot, QD Rings , Black
  • 1 Inch Tube with Emerald Coating for Maximum Light Transmission, Premium Zero Lockable &...
  • Range Estimating Mil-dot Reticle for Optimal Aiming and Shooting Performance, Adjustable...
  • Red/Green Dual Illumination for Versatile Applications, Large Field of View and Most...
  • Complete with 2" Sunshade, High Quality Flip-open Lens Caps and Quick-detachable Rings
  • Built on True Strength Platform, Completely Sealed and Nitrogen Filled, Shockproof, Fog...

The BugBuster’s tube features UTG’s Emerald Coating; a proprietary formula that improves transmission of light. The scope features a mil-dot reticle for range estimation, which improves accuracy. The mil-dot allows for adjustments between 9 feet and an undefined range. UTG was one of the first manufacturers to take advantage of mil-dot scopes for range finding, and their proprietary technology makes the BugBuster extremely accurate. While competitors provide 11 aiming points, the BugBuster’s mil-dot reticle allows for 20.

Ease of Use

The BugBuster is very easy to install and adjust. Written instructions are clear and concise, and all necessary tools and components are included with the kit purchase. The BugBuster, given its attractive price point and its relative simplicity, might prove an excellent choice for a new hunter with limited experience with optical gear.


The UTG BugBuster features a mil-dot reticle that allows for variable range estimation. UTG pioneered mil-dot technology in the early 2000’s, and their scopes’ ability adapt to different ranges is a major selling point. While several of the other scopes featured in our Leupold VX2 3-9×40 review feature 11 aiming points, the BugBuster’s mil-dot technology gives the user 20 different options.


The BugBuster is precisely sealed and filled with nitrogen to minimize lens fog. It is built on Leaper’s True Strength Platform, making it especially resistant to shocks. The True Strength Platform allows the BugBuster to hold zero exceptionally well when affixed to a rifle with heavy recoil – especially when compared with some of the other scopes listed in our Leupold VX2 3-9×40 review.


The buyer can rest easy knowing that the UTG 3-9×32 1″BugBuster is covered by UTG’s The Best Never Rest Lifetime Warranty.


  • Sharp optics
  • Ability to zero-in on targets very quickly
  • Holds zero when affixed to a rifle with heavy recoil
  • Excellent value for the money


  • Edges of the viewing field are distorted
  • Some users complain that the crosshairs are too thick
  • Occasionally arrives with the reticle askew

NightForce NXS 5.5-22X56

NightForce NXS 5.5-22x56mm Scope, ZeroStop .250 MOA Illuminated Moar Reticle (C434)
  • BROAD MAGNIFICATION - 5.5-22 Nightforce NXS models provide a broad magnification range,...
  • IDEAL FOR LARGE CALIBERS - The Nightforce NXS 5.5-22x56 attributes is superbly suited to...
  • SLIM PROFILE - The slim profile of the NXS 5.5-22 x 56 hunting scope makes it easily...
  • SUPERB RESOLUTION - Its superb resolution at high magnification opens an entirely new...
  • TITANIUM BETA ERECTOR SPRING - Proprietary titanium beta erector spring that delivers...

If you know optics, you know NightForce. The NXS 5.5-22×56 is, without a doubt, the Rolls Royce of long range hunting scopes. Enthusiasts have called it the “finest offering on the market”. Superb build quality and an unrelenting commitment to excellence in the little things are the trademark of the NightForce brand.

This scope features Illuminated an illuminated, glass etched MOAR-20 MOA reticle, flawless multi-coated lenses, and a military-grade aluminum tube twice as sturdy as the other scopes featured in our Leupold VX2 3-9×40 review.

Ease of Use

Considering its versatility and customizable features, the NXS 5.5-22×56 is astonishingly easy to set up and use. Its Hi-Speed Turret System with ZeroSet allows for on-the-fly adjustments and quick resets back to zero. All dials and turrets are knurled and designed to be used with or without gloves. Range adjustment is simple, and elevation and windage dials allow for 20 MOA adjustments per revolution.


The NightForce NXS 5.5-22X56 is a popular scope with competitive long-range shooters. In ideal conditions, with magnification up to 22X, this scope is capable of ranging out to 2,000 meters! The Hi-Speed turret system positioned on the leading edge, the wide range of internal adjustment options, the flawless lenses, and the precisely glass-etched ballistic reticles create the “perfect storm” for competitors looking to line up the long shot.


NightForce manufactures optics for the US Military and for civilians, and their regular-market offerings are as sturdy as their military builds. The NXS 5.5-22×56 has conquered the “Torture Test” on multiple occasions: a brutal demonstration of a scope’s durability in the harshest of conditions. The Torture Test features smash tests with bricks, railroad ties, and atlas stones.

Additionally, the NSX 5.5-22×56 is capable of holding zero when subjected to recoil force of 1,250 G’s, or more than one thousand times the force of gravity! When compared to the other offerings compared in our Leupold VX2 3-9×40 review, the NSX 5.5-22×56 takes the gold medal for performance under duress.


NightForce stands behind their products with a fully transferable Lifetime Warranty that covers any manufacturer defects in the optics or mechanical components.


  • Astonishingly clear viewing field
  • Hi-Speed turret system
  • Better magnification capacity than any other product offering in our Leupold VX2 3-9×40 review
  • Rugged, durable build
  • 56mm objective lens allows for optimal clarity in dim and bright environments


  • The NSX 5.5-22×56 costs more than the other three scopes featured in our Leupold VX2 3-9×40 review combined
  • Some users complain that the thicker tube walls make the scope too heavy


We hope that our Leupold VX2 3-9×40 review has proved a valuable resource in your search for a new hunting scope! Overall, we have given the Leupold vs2 3-9×40 a rating of four out of five stars. When compared with the bargain brands and the premier offerings, the Leupold VX2 3-9×40 is an excellent choice for novice and intermediate sportsmen alike. Happy hunting!

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Last update on 2021-10-27 at 19:58 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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