[Shot Show 2016] Leupold’s Hall of Fame/Shame

Outside the Leupold booth at shot this year was a museum quality display featuring four rifles that had been lost or left behind with their glass. In each case the rifle was in pretty bad shape, but the glass on top held up to the trial. With any of these photos below you can click for a full resolution version. I’ve recreated Leupold’s captions here:

8 Months and 4.5 Miles of the Toughest White Water in the Northwest: 

A fall rafting accident claimed this rifle in Oregon’s Grande Ronde River. It was found 8 months later and 4.5 miles downstream. The Vari-X II scope is as functional as the day it left the factory.

Survival At 4,000 ft. For 11 Years in Idaho:

This Weatherby Mark V was found at 4,000 ft. elevation and brought into a sporting goods store where it was later identified by the owner as the rifle he had lost on a hunting trip 11 years earlier. The Leupold 2-7 scope is fog-free and fully functional.

3 1/2 Year Endurance Test in Alaska

A moose hunter lost this rifle after falling into a stream in Alaska’s Copper River Delta. The rifle was found in a beaver dam 3 1/2 years later by a friend hunting the same unit. The Gold Ring scope performs as good as the day it was made.

Over 2 Years In A Georgia Ground Blind

This Ruger 77 was found in a ground blind in southern Georgia by a hunter who had hunted out of the same blind 2 years earlier. Who the original gun owner was may never be known, but what is known is that the 3-9 Leupold still works flawlessly.

So let this be a public service announcement: don’t leave your guns behind, and if you get them back: check your optics! They may still be functional, or find a new life on display to serve as a warning to others.

Edward O

Edward is a Canadian gun owner and target shooter with a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism. Crawling over mountains with tactical gear is his idea of fun. He blogs at TV-Presspass and tweets @TV_PressPass.


  • M.M.D.C.

    Leupold should buy those guys new rifles (and the scopes) for the accidental endurance tests (and the cool PR).

    Except for the dude who left his in a blind – how the heck do you forget that?

    • TheNotoriousIUD

      He was probably more lubricated than his rifle.

  • Hmm so “tragic boating accidents” do happen.

    • M.M.D.C.

      Disproportionately to Rugers with Leupold scopes, by the look of it.

  • Jeff in MS

    Maybe Leupold should also build rifles….

  • Will

    I own one rifle that is scoped. Ruger 10/22 and the scope is, indeed, a Leupold 3×9. Terrific combination.

    • Raven

      A 3-9x is a bit overkill for a 10/22, isn’t it?

      • Michael

        Umm no.

      • lifetimearearesident

        Depends on the application I guess. My 10-22 is scoped with a Redfield Battlezone TAC 22 Rimfire 2-7x 34mm. The 2-7magnification range is not very far from 3-9.

      • Markbo

        No. I have built over 15 custom 10/22s and the smallest scope I have monted is a 3×9. Most are variables with top end of 16x to 20x. I have 36x scopes on 2 of them. Aim small, hit small.

  • Paul Rankin

    i’d say the public service message is: buy a Leupold.

    • Blake

      Works for me. Redfield is now a sister brand & made in the same American plant BTW.

  • flyfishr

    4000ft how dramatic.

    • Thirst_quencheR

      Lol I know! Sitting at 6500 ft right now in the middle of prarie and this is nothing.

      • flyfishr

        I’m only at 4700 feet, but that’s what my wife affectionately calls the kitchen. As in, the kitchen.

    • throwedoff

      4000ft? I live in the Texas panhandle and our elevation is 3500 ft. Is that considered extreme?

  • Samantha Jenkins

    Pretty impressive overall. I wonder what rifles would stand up to the same “test.”

    “The Gold Ring scope performs as good as the day it was made.”
    ummm… “performs as well as the day it was made”
    “is as good as the day it was made.”

  • Budogunner

    Those beavers are now on a watch list…