Question about Leupold Optics

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I have a Leupold 3X9 varilux Scope which is probably 30 years old. The problem I have is that I can't get the elevation adjustment to work as it should. How can I fix this?

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  • kmz053 Oct 07, 2010

    In attempting to zero the scope out, I can move the elevation up but I need to adjust the elevation down and can't lower the elevation far enough to set zero.

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Hopefully it's not stripped. Turning clockwise should lower it I believe. and counter-clockwise should raise it. Or vice versa. If you turn it and nothing happens, then I would say it may be stripped out.

Posted on Oct 07, 2010

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Sorry but your question is presently impossible to answer. In what way is the elevation adjustment failing to work as designed?

Posted on Oct 06, 2010

  • Obertelli
    Obertelli Oct 07, 2010

    Thanks for the additional information.

    Your problem is very common on older scopes, especially if they have spent long periods unused. The elevation and windage controls operate via what I'd describe as sliding turrets. These are precision engineered to be a very close fit and only just allow enough space for lubrication. Over time, the lubricant film can dry out, dust can work it's way in or worst of all moisture gets in and causes corrosion. It's not infrequently a combination of all three factors.

    Another cause is that there are unfortunately a large number of Chinese counterfeit Leupold scopes and accessories around. These look very similar indeed to the genuine article but are poorly made and unreliable. To check yours click here.

    Leupold are superbly designed and constructed and have sealed for life lubrication and also seals against moisture getting into the adjustment mechanism. These seals remain effective even when the adjuster dust caps are removed, but if the caps are missing or have been left off unnecessarily, dust can work its way down to the seals and damage them allowing the lubricant to dry out and moisture and dust to get in. The assembly is not designed to be user-serviceable and if you can strip it down you'll have to replace the seals and any worn parts which Leupold do not supply separately and accurate reassembly is easy to get wrong and can cause permanent damage. Leupold also don't provide details of the lubricant they use and this is important as you need a long life lube which doesn't dry out, doesn't attack the seals, and which operates throughout the full temperature range the scope is designed for.

    You have a valuable precision instrument, but it will be worthless if you attempt an inadvised DIY fix. The good news is that Leupold stand by their products. Their website states:-

    "If any Leupold Golden Ring® product is found to have defects in
    materials or workmanship, we will, at our option, repair or replace it.
    FREE. Even if you are not the original owner. No warranty card is
    required. No time limit applies."


    Obviously this will not apply if the scope has been subject to misuse or unauthorised repairs, but there's an excellent chance that you can get a free repair from them. If they do have to charge, then there really isn't much work to do so labour charges will be modest and the bill effectively comes down to the cost of the spare parts which you would have needed for a DIY repair anyway. The used value of your Leupold will also be higher if you can show buyers proof that the manufacturer has carried out servicing and repairs.

    In summary then, you may be able to perform a DIY repair but it would be foolish to do so in this instance. There's certainly no quick fix option as these tend to let go when you're miles from anywhere and stalking your prey: after all the time and financial investment in a hunting trip, anything which ruins that one vital shot is a false economy. Although Leupold will be busy as hunting season has just started, I can only recommend that you return the scope to them for servicing.

    Sorry that I cannot provide you with a realistic DIY option on this occasion but I hope that my answer has been of some use to you. Good hunting!


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