The Leupold VX-31 Riflescope Gets ZeroLock technology

The Leupold VX-31 riflescope with ZeroLock makes this user-friendly scope even better for hunters who need to shoot long distances

Leupold’s versatile, user-friendly VX-3i CDS riflescope
Leupold’s versatile, user-friendly VX-3i CDS riflescopes get even better.Leupold

Leupold’s VX-3i riflescopes are widely popular with hunters and shooters, offering a high level of performance, superb durability, and user-friendly features at a relatively affordable price point. This year, Leupold is releasing the VX-3i CD-ZL line of optics with a zero lock.

“The VX-3i is already one of the most versatile and successful Gold Ring riflescopes we’ve ever built,” says Vici Peters, product line manager for Leupold & Stevens. “But we wanted to give our consumers more value. The ZeroLock dial is a premium feature that we’re excited to make available on a line that’s accessible to hunters and shooters across the entire industry.”

Four new VX-3i CDS-ZL models will be available this year, including two 4.5–14x40 models that come with 30mm tubes and offer side-focus knobs and either a standard duplex or Leupold’s Wind-Plex reticle. There are also 3.5–10x40 and 4.5–14x40 versions built on one-inch tubes that offer duplex reticles, but no side-focus option. SRPs for the one-inch models range from $649.99 to $799.99; the 30mm versions carry suggested retail prices from $844.99 to $974.99.

Adding a zero stop to the VX-3i CDS scopes makes it even easier to accurately shoot targets at extended distances. The ZeroLock engages when the rifle’s dial is returned to the original zero position, and it also eliminates the risk of dialing past zero. When the dial reaches the original zero position, a button in the dial locks it in place, and the shooter then presses the button when they want to make elevation adjustments. The system has proven to be very effective on other Leupold optics, including the popular VX-5HD line, but this is the first time that it’s been offered in the lower-priced VX-3i line.

I tested the new VX-3i CDS-ZL on a Dakota 97 rifle chambered in .300 PRC. That round produces stiff recoil, but the Leupold stood up well to repeated firing while I was zeroing in at the range. The 4.5–14x40 model I was testing offered 3.7 to 4.4 inches of eye relief. The VX-3i CDS-ZL, with its 30mm main tube, offers a wide field of view—the 4.5– 14x40 maintains an 18.7-foot field of view at 100 yards on low power—and it’s light enough to be used on mountain rifles.

After sending a half-dozen Hornady 212- grain ELD-x bullets downrange, I had the scope zeroed at 100 yards and I reset the dials, a process that involves loosening three screws on the elevation dial with the provided wrench, lifting the dial, and returning to the zero position. Following that, you can dial for elevation (counterclockwise) when shooting targets at long range, and when you’re finished, you can return to your original zero point by dialing down until the ZeroLock engages. That also means you can drop back to zero without ever looking at the optic. I was able to maintain my sight picture while adjusting the elevation knob down until the ZeroLock engaged. Once I was at zero, I depressed the button, dialed my elevation rise for 200 yards, and fired at targets at that distance.

So many of today’s scopes are designed with a single task in mind, be it long-range shooting or hunting. The VX-3i CDS ZL plays the middle ground, and it does so quite effectively.

Booth #13023 (