In this article, I have given the results of an in-depth evaluation of the Leupold & Stevens, Mark 4 ER/T 3.5-10X40MM M5 Scope with mil-dot reticle (Part No: 11080). Leupold has been stated as being one of the best optics manufacturers in the world supplying their products to sportsmen, law enforcement, and the military to be proven as rugged and reliable. I’ve had the experience of using these optics in various activities such as sport shooting, training, and in law enforcement.
I’d first like to state that Leupold sent the scope to me well packaged and it shipped extremely fast. In the box Leupold included the scope, flip-up lens covers, adjustment wrench, all the miscellaneous paperwork and even a nice Leupold vinyl cut logo window sticker.
For the basics, here is the information listed directly from the Leupold website with the features and specifications of the scope:
• The Xtended Twilight Lens System™ optimizes the transmission of low-light wavelengths, so you see the details of low-light scenes in greater, brighter detail than with any other rifle-scope available.
• Side focus parallax adjustment for fast, easy parallax focusing from 50 yards to infinity, from any shooting position.
• M5 windage and elevation adjustment dials with audible, tactile 1/10-MIL clicks.
• 70-MOA each of windage and elevation adjustment range.
• The reticle is magnified along with the image, so you can estimate range at any magnification setting.
• Available with the Mil Dot, or Tactical Milling Reticle (TMR).
• These reticles provide accuracy of range estimation for hunters and target shooters.
• The 30mm maintube (made from solid 6061-T6 aircraft-grade aluminum) offers incredible strength and allows for the greater range of windage and elevation adjustment.
• Flip-open lens covers are standard issue with the Mark 4 ER/T riflescope.
• Durable, subdued matte black finish.
• Rugged and absolutely waterproof, the ER/T is built to Leupold Mark 4 standards, and can withstand incredible abuse.
In addition, I like to add some information in regards to the Leupold Mark 4 M5 series. These are MIL / MIL scopes. And for me, this is the first MIL / MIL scope I have ever used. All my previous experience with precision and long range shooting has been on MIL / MOA scopes. The adjustments on the M5 series allowed me to break the adjustments into tenths based on the mildot reticle. Therefore, all my MOA data had to be converted to use with the MIL / MIL scope. At first I thought this would be tough doing all the conversions and learning a new system, however, to my surprise it was actually easy. Since I used the standard system for all my data, everything was in yards and inches and the conversion from MOA to MIL involved some simple math. Once I had everything converted correctly and double checked it by practical application, I found the MIL / MIL system easier, more precise, and much faster to use than the MIL / MOA system I had previously used. I don’t think I would ever go back to a MIL / MOA scope.
As with the other Leupold products I have used in the past, this one was built to the same quality and standards. The scope itself was easy to manipulate with audible and positive adjustments for the elevation and windage knobs. The variable power selector ring was also easy to adjust and not so stiff that you had to strong arm it like other scopes I have used. This particular scope also used the round mildot reticle system (0.2 MIL dots), and is a first focal plane scope, allowing the reticle to be correct on any power. And lastly it had a parallax focus knob on the left side of the scope used to bring the target to the same focal plane as the mildot reticle, which was very smooth and precise.
So, to start the evaluation I first mounted the Leupold Mark 4 scope on a Remington 700 VSF,.308 caliber rifle, which had been bedded and accurized, to give it a great start for the precision weapon system. For the actual mounting, I used a Leupold Mark 4, 15 MOA slope, one-piece base (Part No: 59235) and a set of Leupold Mark 4, medium height rings (Part No: 61049). I chose the medium height because I prefer to have the scope as low on the weapon and as close to the line of bore as possible. I also accessorized the precision weapon system with a Turner Saddlery AWS sling, Harris Bi-pod, Uncle Mike’s Military QD Sling Swivels, and an Eagle Industries cheek piece.
Next I hit the range. I started with the initial zeroing of the weapon using Federal Match Grade, 168gr, Sierra Boat-tailed Hollow Point ammunition. It took exactly three rounds to get the P.O.A. (Point of Aim) and P.O.I. (Point of Impact) to “zero” at 100 yards. After the initial zeroing and cleaning, I went through several grouping shots and during the initial testing, used the mil-dot reticle in the scope on the lowest power of 3.5. I found that not only was the M5 adjustments easy to use, they were very precise. The final grouping tests results were as follows:
Seated Bench Position, 100 yards, 3 shots, 3/8″ group.
Seated Bench Position, 200 yards, 3 shots, 5/8″ group
Seated Bench Position, 300 yards, 3 shots, 1″ group
And lastly, using 18″ X 24″ white poster board and 6″ colored balloons, I setup targets at 200 and 300 yards. I had another person randomly change my windage and elevation adjustments to throw off my zero and shot to test the MIL / MIL holds. I found this to be the most efficient part of the whole system, as it allowed me to make a very quick “hold” adjustment to my first missed shot, for a hit on the follow up shot. If the shot is a miss and you can see, or saw, the P.O.I., you simply measure the number of MILs in 1/10th increments for elevation and windage and hold your P.O.A. for the correction. Using this system, I was able to make follow up shots in less than five seconds for a positive hit on the balloons.
Overall, I give the new Leupold Mark 4 ER/T 3.5-10X40MM M5 MIL / MIL scope a 10 out of 10 rating for quality and performance. If you’re in the market for a new scope, whether it be for tactical use, precision sport shooting, or hunting, I would not hesitate in purchasing one of these Leupold Optics.