This is indeed a great price. They are 2003 model scopes (which isn't a bad thing) that they are trying to clear out. They are selling them for $20 more than dealer cost! :shock: I don't think you will get a better deal anywhere...
From what i recall, there were two changes from 2003 to 2004. When I was asking a friend about the differences, we were talking about the mark 4 10x. I would assume the changes affected the whole line, but I don't know that for sure.
1)They changed the coating on the scope. I was told there was not a huge difference.
2)They made the thread on the eyepiece not as fine so that adjustments could be made with fewer turns. Personall I couldn't care too much about this since I only set the thing when i first put the scope on my rifle, so I don't really care how many turns it takes. Plus you may have to turn it less, but the adjustment ability isn't as fine so it is sort of a trade-off
I don't ever remember hearing anyone complaining about 2003 and earlier scopes, and I don't hear anyone complaining since they made the modifications. (What a helpful comment that was)
Okay I'm seeing the 6-20 for $669, but not the 8-25 for $699, that one costs more. Where is the link to the discounted one? Or have they all sold out, I noticed the 6-20 went from 156 in stock to 40 in about a day and a half. I can't get to the bank to move money around so I can order one until Monday, and I hope they're not sold out before then. *grin*
When I got the 8-25 there were only two left in stock, by the time I finished the order they were out of stock.
I did a little more research on the differences of the 2003 and 2004 variable scopes. What they are calling the 2003 MK 4 is actually a gold ring VX III LR/T. Leupold apparently just started calling them MK 4 for the year of 2004. The only real difference is the coating they put on the lenses. The new coating apparently has a little better light transmission properties, but this should only effect the shooter in very low light shooting conditions. The variable magnification scopes that are now part of the MK 4 line are not actually as durable as their fixed 10x and 16x scopes. They can't take quite the beating that the fixed powers one can.
They sold out of both types about a day or two ago. At that price its a great deal and they did not last long.
Even thought they had something like 200 something of the 6.5s and 100 something of the 8.5s. Great deal on some decent glass!
As for the changes, yes they did change: the 2003 M1 LR are Multi-coat 4 and the 2004 MK4 M1 are Index matched coated. The old 6.5s are designated by an "L" at end of serial and the Index ones have an "M". Leupold claims an increase of about 5%. Now wether all of us can actually notice this increase in light transmission is up to the individual user.
Question for all: How do I find what magnification setting the Mils hold on these variable power mil dot scopes? Leupy techs always claim that its at the highest mag but I have heard different. More like 10x-12x.
Well, I would trust the leupold techs. Most scopes have a little indicator as to what mag the mil-dots are correct for. The 6-18x Swift I just bought has a M on the magnification ring that stands for "mil-dot". It happens to be on 10x which is common for most all scopes EXCEPT leupold.
If you want to find out for sure. Take a target to the 100 yard line, and mark 3.6 inches on the target. That should represent 1 mil if the scope power is correct for the mil-dots.
If they are correct, and you crank your scope up to full magnification (where they say the mil-dots are calibrated). Then the distance between two of your mil-dots will measure 3.6 inches at 100 yards. So you mark 3.6 inches on your target, and then measure the mark with your scope, it should be exactly 1 mil.