Customized handguns in silhouette shooting are as common as dirt. After
market barrels, sights, triggers, grips, painted stocks, etc. are just
some of the things that make a gun uniquely yours.
However until fairly recently, optics could be customized only to a
limited degree. As most are aware, a number of small outside shops can
ďbump upĒ the magnification, and/or replace the factory crosshairs with
something different. Thereís also another outfit that will even drill a
huge hole in the side of your scope and install a big spring to
supposedly prevent the crosshairs from moving under recoil. Even more
interesting, there are some individuals that will also drill a hole in
your scope and squirt gobs of epoxy inside for the same dubious purpose.
Thereís two problems with these modifications. One is that a quality
scopeís optical design is like a prescription. In other words itís a
balanced combination of components specifically engineered to do a job
in a particular kind of way. When you start changing components like
lenses, the design is no longer in balance. For instance, you couldnít
just start changing the chemical composition of a medical prescription
and not expect consequences. The same is true when you start switching
out lenses in a scope with parts that the rest of the design wasnít
meant to work with. Brightness, parallax, resolution, clarity and many,
many other optical considerations can be thrown out of kilter.
Another significant issue with these after market scope modifications is
that they will immediately void the warrantee. When you consider the
fact that quality optics can be a significant expense, voiding a life
time warrantee is something that shouldnít be taken lightly.
so how can we customize our scopes without messing up the optical design
and blowing up the warrantee at the same time. Well, in the case of
Leupold scopes, the answer is easy i.e. use the Leupold custom shop. All
of its work is 100% warranted for life.
absolutely amazing how many custom services Leupold offers its
customers. I honestly donít know of any other optics manufacturer in the
world that will do as many modifications to their scopes as Leupold.
take a quick look at what Leupold can do for you:
"Custom work can
make your scope like no other in the world."
1. Custom engraving - the ultimate in
Anodized Colors - 11 different colors and even color combos
3. Ballistically Matched Reticules -
give your load data to Leupold and theyíll make you a special reticle
with hold over markings for the distances that you specify.
4. Bullet Drop Compensation Dials -
similar deal. Give them your load data and they will engrave a
special target elevation dial with markings for the specific distances
that you choose. No more looking in sight setting books. Itís built in
right on the dial.
5. Adjustment Dials Changes - a
silhouette favorite. Want a target type elevation or windage dial on
your scope? No problem. Want another type of Leupold dial? They can
probably accommodate you.
6. Gold Plating - Very classy. The gold
ring on your scope can now be real 24 carat gold as well as the Leupold
emblem found on many of their scopes. Looks great.
7. Renovation - Got a Leupold scope
where the tube has been chewed up by a set of junky scope rings from
another manufacturer or been scratched up rubbing against another gun in
a case where the foam has seen better days. Leupold can completely make
your scope new again both inside and out.
8. Reticules - I counted 29 different
reticules that are offered by Leupold. This is far more than any other optics
this available, I decided to dip my toe into this very large pool of goodies.
Although I already owned two Leupold 2.5 X 8 pistol scopes, both were already
on guns and I wanted another to mount on my 6 TCU XP-100 (a very sweet
shooter). Of my other two 2.5 X 8ís, one is gloss black and the other is
silver. I decided to make this one silver also. I figured it would go nicely
with the stainless barrel on the XP.
The first custom touch was the ego thing, and so I had my name
engraved on the side of the housing for the elevation and windage controls. Iím
told that many people go a little farther and will have
ďCustom Built for John SmithĒ etc. engraved to make it even more personalized.
You could also have the message engraved on the
elevation turret cap
instead. Speaking of the cap, how about an engraved image of a big horned
sheep on the top, or perhaps just a set of initials? The possibilities are
I also knew
what I wanted next i.e. a custom elevation dial for my 6 TCU load. So I simply
gave Leupold my load info - 24 grains of Hodgdonís 4198, 70 grain Sierra Match
King bullet, Winchester case, CCI BR primer, 2750 fps velocity. I also threw
in the elevation of my home range just to cover all the bases - 1300 ft. I
also told Leupold I wanted elevation markings for 50, 100, 150, and 200
meters. Additionally, I wanted hash marks going out to 300 and 400 meters.
This XP makes a great coyote gun, although I admit 400 meters is really
pushing it, but what the heck.
Two weeks later, the scope arrived. Cool. At first glance I immediately
noticed that the finish of the new scope looked nicer than my older silver 2.5
X 8. Comparing them side by side confirmed my impression. The new scopeís
finish was definitely more clean and fine than the older modelís and slightly
There were two other differences. One, there was my name engraved in black
letters against the fine silver finish. I have to admit it looked really neat.
Second, the scope sported a high profile target knob instead of the standard
low profile type. After I removed the cap, I saw that all of my load data was
engraved around the top of the dial even including the elevation of my home
range. Engraved on the bottom of the dial, were the distances that I had
specified. Of course the big question was how accurate were the markings on
the dial? Only one way to tell.
Consequently, I loaded up 25 rounds and headed off to the range. I zeroed the
scope at fifty meters and set up the half scale swinger targets. I then
cranked up to the pig mark. I immediately noticed that the clicks on the high
target knob were much more positive and further apart than on the standard low
profile knob of the 2.5 X 8. As a result, there was a lot more tactile
feedback when making adjustments. The clicks were much more audible as well.
on the pig was center by center. Perfect. Tried a couple of more shots just to
be sure and they just stacked up one on top of each other. Clicked up to the
turkey mark and likewise everything was center by center. Turned to the ram
mark and again center by center. Everything was dead on. I was frankly very
surprised as I expected that the markings would likely be a click or two off.
Nope, everything was perfect by perfect. I couldnít have asked for more.
line here is that having a custom elevation dial engraved for your gun and
favorite load is a very practical convenience for any competition shooter or
hunter. I also found out that if you change loads and/or put the scope on
another gun, you can have another dial made up and then can just switch them
Additionally, with so many other custom services available, itís amazing that
more people who routinely shoot custom guns donít make use of the many special
services available from Leupold. So whether you want to modify a Leupold scope
you already have on hand, or a jazz up a brand new scope, think about adding a
personal touch or two from the custom shop to make it special and one of a
kind. Youíll definitely like the result.
is just one of the many features offered by the Leupold custom shop."