Leupold VX-1 vs Vortex Diamondback – Which Is Better? (ANSWERED)

leupold vx 1 vs vortex diamondback

Photo by Keith LaFaille / CC BY

Leupold and Vortex are household names in the optics world. They both produce a massive amount of different optics. This includes binoculars, riflescopes, red dots, and more.

Both companies are well-reputed and well-known for their awesome products.

Today, we are taking a peek at the battle between their flagship rifle optics: Leupold VX-1 vs Vortex Diamondback scopes. Which is better—and why? Let’s find out!

Leupold VX-1 1 vs Vortex Diamondback: What They Have in Common

Focal Plane

Both optics reside in the second focal plane. This means the reticle grows as the magnification is increased and shrinks as its decreased. This is best used for sports shooters. It makes it easy to use the reticle. To use the hash marks and drop reticles, you need to be on the max magnification for accuracy’s sake.


Both optics are approximately the same size when magnification and objective lens are factored in. They are designed to be mounted across a variety of rifles, mainly centerfire rifle designs. This covers both modern sporting rifles like the AR 15 and traditional hunting rifles like the Remington 700.

Magnification Ratings

Both optics’ lines come in a variety of different magnifications. This includes traditional 3-9x, 4-12x, and even the smaller and lighter 2-7x options.

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Leupold VX-1 vs Vortex Diamondback Rd 1: The VX-1

The VX-1 from Leupold is their mid-priced optic designed mostly for sporting use. It’s at home with hunters, sports shooters, and plinkers. It’s still a good scope for tactical shooters but may admittedly come up a little short on some of the features tactical shooters want.

Like any Leupold, it’s a high-quality piece of gear. The VX-1 uses a 3 to 1 zoom ratio erector system. This means the magnification ratio is always a factor of three. The highest magnification will be the lowest magnification multiplied by three. The only exception being the 2-7x option.

Since its really designed with the hunter in mind, the Leupold VX-1 is made to be tough. It’s fully waterproof and sealed against any kind of dirt and debris. It uses Leupold’s own proprietary nitrogen sealing process to keep the fog at bay. It’s also designed to withstand heavy recoil and can shake it off without much issue.

The VX-1 is also packed with fingertip adjustable turrets. Each adjustment is ¼ MOA. It’s a broad range that will get you on target quickly and precisely. The adjustments are also tactile, they click audibly and you can feel it in your fingertips. It’s great when you are shooting at a noisy range and can’t hear those clicks as you make adjustments. The VX-1 also features a tactile power selector that allows you to know where your magnification is by simply touching the ring. This is great if you can’t raise yourself above your scope to check yourself. This is perfect for hunters who want to minimize movement.

The VX-1 also sports a generous amount of eye relief, and the eye relief is adjustable. Eye relief ranges from 3.7 to 4.2 inches. This is more than enough room for magnum calibers and hard recoiling powerhouses.

The glass on the VX-1 features Leupold Multicoat 4 for a clear and bright picture regardless of the time of day. Even low light conditions are no match for the Leupold.

The VX-1 is a slightly cheaper option than the other Leupold VX’s. If you want to save a hundred bucks go with the VX-1. It’s a simple but dependable option for recreational shooting, hunting, and more.

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Leupold VX-1 vs Vortex Diamondback Rd 2: The Vortex Diamondback

The Vortex Diamondback is one Vortex’s more premier optics. It’s well suited for hunting, tactical use, and long range competition shooting. The second focal plane limits the tactical use of this optic. It’s better suited for known distance shooting, versus shooting exceptionally long ranges in a tactical scenario.

The VMR-1 reticle is an MOA based reticle sports windage and elevation drops in MOA measurements. This does allow you to tune your rifle and chosen round to the scope. With the right dope, you’ll easily hit targets at long ranges. The reticle also makes it a bit easier to hit those fast moving targets, if you have the skills of course.

Vortex makes tough optics, some say overbuilt. They are a few ounces heavier than the Leupold VR-1 optics. This is part of their everything proof construction. It shakes off water, withstands shock, and fog doesn’t stand a chance. It can be dropped, kicked, and more and still just keep kicking. The optic is sealed with strong o rings for a guaranteed long life.

The turrets are fingertip adjustable and are tactical turrets. This means there are no caps to remove. Just reach up and make adjustments as necessary. These exposed tactical turrets are easy to manipulate and offer audible and tactile feedback. These turrets are a joy for shooters in dynamic environments with multiple targets at multiple ranges. They function perfectly with the tactical reticle to deliver precision, accuracy, and speed.

The turrets also feature a zero reset capability. So once you zero your rifle you can reset the turrets to the zero mark. This way after you make adjustments for wind and range you can then go back to your normal zero with ease.

The glass is Vortex’s own extra-low dispersion glass and XR multi-coated lenses give bright views and easy low light use.

The Vortex Diamondback offers a 3.9-inch eye relief that is non-adjustable. It’s still enough to handle magnum calibers with ease. The Vortex Diamondback (see full specs) is generally the more expensive optic than the Leupold VX-1 (see full specs), but that’s not an insignificant amount of money in any case. However, the optic is a little tougher, features more dynamic turrets, and a better reticle. The price is justified, or at least many shooters feel it is. Is it for you? That’s completely on what you want, need, and can afford.

Sneak Peek: The Vortex Diamondback Tactical 4-12x Scope Pre-Production Review

Leupold VX-1 vs Vortex Diamondback: Which Is for You?

If you are purely a hunter or recreational shooter, you can’t go wrong with the Leupold. It’s rugged, reliable, and simple. Plus it’s more affordable. If you want to hunt on Sunday and run a tactical shooting comp on Monday, go with the Vortex Diamondback.

Size up your magnification options appropriately and you’ll be ringing steel, bagging bucks, and popping terrorists with precision and discrimination. Good luck!

  • Owner of Reloaderaddict.com, Boyd Smith is a major handgun enthusiast, and although he owns Glocks, he prefers the revolving wheel type. His go-to guns are a Smith & Wesson 642 Performance Center for carry and a Ruger GP100 in the nightstand biometric safe (he has kids). He loads both revolvers with old-school 148-grain Federal Gold Medal .38 wadcutters. It’s OK if you think he’s a wimp. Email him.

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