The Leupold Rifleman scope is really considered an entry level scope in the Leupold line. It was released to the market to meet the many requests for a more affordable line of Leupold scopes.
The Rifleman series is available in the following configurations:
- 2-7 X 33mm
- 3-9 X 40mm
- 3-9 X 50mm
- 4-12 X 40mm
At this time, the Rifleman is only available with a standard wide duplex reticle. If you have an interest in different reticles, then you’ll need to look at a different Leupold scope model.
I have to say that, even though the Rifleman is considered a lower cost model, it still has good glass. The glass boasts 96% light transmission, so the Rifleman series seems to work well under low light conditions. However, I saw a significant difference in picture quality when comparing the Rifleman to a higher end line like the Var-X III or IV. I like the eyebox design as it can accommodate rapid changes in magnification power without losing its powerful performance and clarity. Should you decide to go with the 50mm bell, you’ll probably need to go with high rings or the scope probably won’t fit the rifle.
The Rifleman uses friction dials that are marked in ½-MOA increments, and were fairly easy to adjust for windage and elevation. While the adjustments weren’t a major problem, most quality scopes out there enjoy adjustments that are only ¼ of a click, which allows for more a more precise sighting in process.
The sleek design of the Rifleman is complemented by a classic black matte finishing that is surprisingly durable. It has the ability to resist nicks and scratches and minor abrasions which is obviously unavoidable when you are out hunting in the rugged terrains. At this time, the matte black finish is the only one available for the Rifleman. This body is made from waterproof materials, so you don’t need to worry if you and the scope happen to caught in the thunderstorm.
Like all the Leupold line, the Rifleman is covered by their lifetime guarantee. One nice aspect of this guarantee is the fact that Leupold will honor it whether you are the original owner or not. While this may not seem like a very big deal, some high end scope manufacturers will only recognize the warranty if the scope is “registered” with them and you are the owner of record.
While I very much like the Rifleman series, it’s not without some drawbacks. The test model I had seemed to have an occasional issue where the turrets almost locked up and had to the lightly tapped on to be adjusted. The power adjustment ring also seemed very tight and took some serious muscle to actually move when needed. This may have been due to the scope being new and probably would have lightened up with use.
My thoughts: if you really want a Leupold scope but don’t want to invest a ton of money, then the Rifleman might be a good choice for you. If you are still expecting “world class” optics in this series, then you may be disappointed (depending on your level of experience and expectations). Would I put hesitate to put one on a rifle? Not for a second.