[SHOT 2018] Leupold Brings the Heat with the Mark 5 5-25×56 M5C3

    What you are about to read is an accurate tale of one woman’s encounter at the Leupold booth today at SHOT Show’s Industry Day at the Range.

    No names have been changed or altered.

    Just a Small Town Girl

    Let me start by admitting that I’m not a distance shooter. In fact, I’ve never had the opportunity to shoot farther than 200 yards. Hey, in East Tennessee it ain’t happening unless you’re following the power lines. We just don’t have a lot of open space like that.

    So, when the guys at Leupold started talking about their Mark 5 First Focal Plane scope for the “serious shooter”, I was worried that I was about to make a fool out of myself at the 1,000 yard bench rest range.

    Yes, I could absolutely see the benefit of the carefully and thoughtfully crafted integrated throw lever which stays out of the way of the cycling handle on your favorite bolt gun, even when turned to the full 25 magnification.

       …oh, God. I’m gonna have to shoot a firearm with one mounted to it.

    Sure, the Zero Lock Dial preventing a shooter from accidentally turning the elevation knob was ingenious. That the built-in “turkey baster” type button on top alerts you to the number of revolutions you’ve made on the elevation knob is pretty clever.

       …gonna be time to get behind the trigger soon.

    And OK, yes. Fine. It’s amazing that you can literally put it on ANY type of rifle (bolt action or semi-auto), and ANY caliber (it can handle the recoil and then some), and of course it comes with Leupold’s Lifetime Guarantee.

    ...holy crap – does the entire firearms industry HAVE to gather around the Leupold booth this very second???

    And then the Leupold rep uttered the words I’d been quietly dreading, “want to fire a few shots?”

    Like a slow-motion nightmare, I felt my head nod yes.

    She’s Going the Distance

    We started at 250 yards. The wind may have been blowing all day, but at that moment, it felt like a cyclone was blistering through the Vegas desert.

    Following the spotter’s suggestion, I adjusted the elevation and windage accordingly. I did what I’d seen on TV: I inhaled, held my breath briefly, and gently squeezed the trigger.

    “That’s a hit” the spotter proclaimed.

       …Surely I had beginner’s luck?

    I lined up my shot a second time. PING! The sound of steel ringing was getting infectious.

    Want to go to 425 yards?” my spotter asked. I timidly agreed and resumed my place on the PRS stock’s cheek piece and aimed for the cowboy-shaped steel target.

    I adjusted for elevation and windage again, per the spotter’s suggestion.

    Inhale. Hold briefly. Gently squeeze.

    PING! PING! PING! The cowboy- and then the chicken-shaped targets didn’t stand a chance.

       …Ok, this scope is making the job effortless.

    This time, the voice I heard pipe up was my own! “What’s the farthest I can shoot next?” 

    The spotter directed me to a black doughnut in the distance. “880 yards” he said matter-of-factly.

    We adjusted, inhale, hold, squeeze…wait. “You hit it, but someone else shot next to it and missed. Do it again” the spotter instructed.

     …I’m 2 magazines into shooting this thing. When does it stop being beginner’s luck and start proving that this is an amazing scope???

    All in all, I shot 3 magazines of .308 downrange and missed twice “due to wind”, according to my spotter and new BFF.

    That wasn’t beginner’s luck. That was a damned fine scope.

    Photo courtesy of Leupold

    The Bottom Line

    The Mark 5 scope is nothing short of a scientific masterpiece. At an MSRP of $2500, a Lifetime of Guaranteed enjoyment, and the fact that even a novice distance shooter was ringing steel with ease – this is one instance where the juice more than justifies the squeeze.

    If you’re any kind if distance shooter looking to up your game, the Mark 5 5-25×56 M5C3 is your answer.

    Rachel Y

    Rachel Young is a 4x Best Selling Author. She and her husband John co-own an FFL/SOT showroom and machine shop in Tennessee, specializing in ARs, AR parts, and AR accessories.