Leupold Mark 5HD 2-10×30

Few names embody the American sporting lifestyle like “Leupold.” From mega sporting goods retailers to small-town American bait and sport shops, the Leupold logo is a mainstay on the gun rack. A perusal of the “deer camp” gun racks across the nation will most likely yield at least one Leupold mounted proudly in the mix. 

While known for consistent quality and timeless performance, Leupold has applied their time-tested optics to the next generation of shooters, pursuits and platforms. Not just for bolt guns, Leupold has brought excellence and innovation to their more tactically geared product lineup. 

To illustrate, we are going to take a walk through the Leupold Mark 5HD 2-10×30 with its AR-style mount. First impressions of the unit were in keeping with classic Leupold construction. Clean lines, smooth surfaces and crisply defined controls. The unit has a distinctly military look, but somehow manages to retain that classic Leupold feel. 

Mark 5HD Fit & Function

When I learned I would be reviewing this particular scope, I immediately knew where I wanted to put it. I had recently built an AR-15 in .204 Ruger, and she needed a scope. Due to the purpose and execution of the build, the focal range was ideal. This was a heavy, accuracy-driven, longer-range rifle built to shoot heavy-for-caliber bullets. The 2-10 range would give me the flexibility to engage targets/critters at a wide variety of distances. 

The package arrived and the mounting process went seamlessly. The Leupold Integral Mounting System (IMS) was simple and easy to install on my existing Picatinny rail. The Torquing Sequence diagram was included in the frustration-free package was easy to follow and yielded a quick and solid mounting process. From opening the package to bore-sighting was less than 20 minutes. 

The Specifics

Something can look great on the bench, but how is it on the range? My brain works better in MOA, but this scope is in mils. That point aside, the TMR reticle was clean and easy to navigate. This is a first focal plane scope, so as you adjust your magnification, what you see in your reticle changes. 

When I’m behind a scope for the first time, I like to take a few minutes and explore the optic both physically and visually. Here are some things I noticed.

The throw lever is slightly oversized and easy to grip. It is removable for those who don’t like that particular style. Some throw levers are counterintuitive and slippery. This one is comfortably ambidextrous and textured for grip. It allows movement to different magnifications easily with one hand but provides enough resistance to prevent unintended adjustments. 

The parallax adjustment knob is located on the left side of the scope. It is again a comfortable and smooth, single-handed interface. It is labeled from 75 yards to 800 yards in high-contrast white numbers. 

On the top, we have the elevation turret. It is a 1 click = 0.1 MRAD system. The turret is equipped with a zero-stop locking mechanism. One thing I look for when shooting an elevation turret is how crisp and clean the adjustments are. Like driving a manual, you don’t want to be trying to find the right gear at the wrong time… On the same note, when you have that animal standing broadside, you don’t want to be guessing where your detents are in your turret. This optic has clear, crisp adjustments that minimize the chance of dialing errors.

The right side of the scope has a lateral adjustment knob protected by a screw-on cap. It is also clearly labeled with the 1 click = 0.1 mils to make left and right impact adjustments. 

What’s Inside Mark 5HD?

I feel like I have explored the outside and the controls. What’s inside? I’m sure you’ve heard the axiom, “If you can’t see it, you can’t shoot it.” Leupold created the 2-10×30 Mark 5HD with their traditional quality, clarity and light transmission capability. With the combination of their AR IMS (Integrated Mounting System), they also leveled up the eye relief game. With the stream-lined mounting system and the lean 30 mm objective, the scope is ideally suited for quick target acquisition in either tactical or hunting scenarios. 

Leupold also did something else that showcases their focus on accuracy, excellence and innovation. In lieu of the traditional “mil-dot” appearance, they brought the precision of hash marks for both elevation and windage into an MRAD reticle. Being more of an MOA shooter, this was immensely helpful in transitioning back and forth between the two methods. 

Send It!

It’s user-friendly, functional, ergonomic, bright and tack sharp. But what’s it like to shoot? With multiple groups from 100 yards to 500 yards under highly varied lighting and wind conditions, I am very impressed with the performance of the scope. It is crisp and clear, even at the highest magnification. Low-light capability is especially solid. The hash mark-style reticle provided highly defined reference points for windage and elevation holds. For not having a tremendously large objective or tube, the 2-10×30 maximizes available light giving the one behind the gun every advantage to acquire the target. 

Leupold has been an American icon for decades. They are now successfully setting the standard in new markets within the shooting and hunting worlds. Their mastery of the classical has now extended to the tactical. I won’t hesitate to go to Leupold for my next tactically-focused optics need. For more information, visit leupold.com.