VX-3i vs.VX-6 – Which riflescope has better light transmission capabilities?

VX-3i vs. VX-6HD

With numerous options available in the market, finding the perfect riflescope to fit your hunting needs is not easy. Luckily, Leupold is known for producing quality options to fit hunters’ needs of all skill levels. In this review, we shall compare the VX-3i and VX-6 to determine which scope is better.

Whether you pursue shooting as a hobby or a hunter, choosing the ideal scope for your rifle directly affects your weapon’s accuracy while in the field. The primary role of a riflescope is to enable the user to zoom in on a specific target and lock in the exact location you want your shot to land. Leupold VX-3i and VX-6 are two premium quality scopes with a variety of impressive features. The table below summarizes their top features and outlines their differences.

What are the differences between VX-3i and VX-6?

Leupold VX-3i
Leupold VX-6HD
Reticle type

Heavy Duplex

Fine Duplex


Boone and Crockett

Varmint Hunter

Target Dot

FireDot Duplex reticle (Illuminated)

FireDot 4 Fine reticle

FireDot Circle reticle (Illuminated)

Eye relief
4.4-3.6 inches
3.8-3.7 inches
12.6 ounces
13.4 ounces

VX-3i vs. VX-6 –How do they compare?


The Leupold VX-3i comes with a 3.5-10X magnification range, making it an excellent tool for hunters looking for medium to long-range optics. It also comes with a custom dial system (CDS) feature that allows users to customize their dial in relation to exact load, velocity, and other specific conditions in terms of unprecedented precision. As a result, the scope’s magnification capabilities have made it one of the most popular choices in its category.

Alternatively, the Leupold VX-6HD has a magnification range of 1X-6X, ideal for shooting within 100 to 400 yards.  Its wide magnification range allows optimum flexibility and versatility in various environments. Additionally, its 1X magnification is perfect for close shooting, making this scope ideal for deer hunters, three gun match competitors, and long-range target shooters.

The Leupold VX-3i is, therefore, a more accurate riflescope due to its wide magnification range.

Reticle type

Both the VX-3i and VX-6HD riflescopes have their reticle on their second focal plane, allowing easy sighting of the target to facilitate quick and accurate shots. The Leupold VX-3i is available in seven different reticle types, each with their own unique features to cater to the shooter’s needs. For instance, its Duplex reticle consists of heavy posts that stand out against cover in a low light environment and a thin center that allows quick target acquisition.

On the other hand, the Leupold VX-6HD comes with three different reticle types, including the FireDot 4 Fine reticle, FireDot Duplex reticle (illuminated), and FireDot Circle reticle(Illuminated). For instance, the FireDot Duplex (Illuminated) reticle is a fiber-optic powered center red-dot that incorporates classic design and new technology. With FireDot Technology, your eye easily moves to the center of the reticle for fast target acquisition, and it also contains multiple brightness settings for changing environmental conditions.

Therefore, the Leupold VX-3i is a better optic in terms of image clarity and target acquisition due to its wide variety of reticle types.

Eye relief

Eye relief is the distance between the eye and the scope’s nearest lens to give the hunter a clear and precise image. The eye relief provision in scopes should prevent the user from getting scope eye, which is a nasty bruise or cut above the eye caused by hitting the eye against the scope during sharp recoils.

The VX-3i from Leupold offers more than enough eye relief to its users. At 4.4 inches for low magnification and 3.6 inches for high magnification, hunters do not have to worry about getting dangerously close to the scope. As a result, you are sure of having a clear and full sight image with this riflescope that generously fits sized eye box.

The Leupold VX-6HD offers a fixed eye relief of 3.8 inches that does change with power range. The scope also features resettable, exposed, and locking windage and elevation dials, marked in 0.25 increments. Each of the dials has a spring-loaded button above the ‘o’ mark on its circumference.

Therefore, the Leupold VX-3i is safer to use than the VX-6HD due to its broad eye relief provision.

VX-3i vs. VX-6HD – A comparison review

Leupold VX-3i 3.5-10X40

VX-3i vs. VX-6HD

If you are looking for a versatile riflescope that will last, the Leupold VX-3i is an excellent option. It comes with a standard single-piece main tube of one-inch made from aircraft-grade aluminum with a matte black finish. The tube features an ultra-lightweight design to ensure the overall weight of the scope is at a minimum.

The scope consists of a high-quality coating as it features Leupold’s proprietary DiamondCoat2 coating and Twilight Max Light Management System. As a result, shooters are guaranteed maximum brightness, adequate color contrast, and the best possible light transmission. Also, this optic comes with seven reticle types to cater to the particular needs of the hunter. However, the standard Duplex is the ideal general-purpose reticle.

The VX-3i also features a quick focus eyepiece that allows you to lock in your target speedily despite the distance and other unprecedented conditions. The eyepiece has a licking mechanism that ensures it is not bumped out of focus while in the field. Other impressive features of the 3.5-10×40 are its 3.5-10x magnification range, generous eye relief of 3.6-4.5 inches, 40mm objective lens, and a field of view ranging between 29.8 feet at 3.5x power and 11 feet at 10x power.

Furthermore, the VX-3i comes with a set of elevation and windage adjustment turrets adjusted by precision finger clicks. These tactile adjustments provide shooters with audible responses to even the slightest turns, ensuring accuracy at all times.  However, this scope does not have a locking mechanism or a parallax adjustment turret.


  • Available in a variety of reticle options
  • Quick focus eyepiece
  • Impressive coating quality
  • Excellent glass lens quality
  • Good performance in low light situations


  • Difficult to keep up with the turret revolution

View Price Here

Leupold VX-6HD 1-6X24

VX-3i vs. VX-6HD

As one of the most popular stalking scopes available on the market, the Leupold VX-6HD 1-6X24 features high optical performance, making it perfect for long-range target shooters, three gun match competitors, and deer hunters.

Hunters enjoy its 1-6X magnification range, 1x setting for close shooting, clear and high-quality glass, and innovative reticle, which is perfect for competitive shooters. The VX-6HD comes with a well-executed and arsenic-free illumination glass with blackened lead edges for clear and precise long shoots. With a mass weight of 13.4 ounces and 11.2 inches in length, this scope is one of the most compact and lightweight in its category.

Due to its 1-6X magnification range, users can use this scope for shooting with 100 and 400 yards. The scope also comes with a 0.5 interdot, perfect for accurate shots within a close range. The illuminated 5 MOA circle changes into an up-close power dot, while the red dot is well-defined in the 200-300 yard range and great for the 0-50 range.

The VX-6HD riflescope from Leupold offers an exceptional image resolution due to its Xtended Twilight Lens Coating. With this coating, the scope transmits light efficiently in low light environments and even at 6X magnification. The exterior lenses come with Leupold’s proprietary DiamondCoat 2 coating that increases its resistance to abrasion while providing increased brightness, contrast, and clarity.


  • Easy to use
  • Fixed eye relief of 3.8 inches
  • Waterproof performance
  • Automatically shuts off when not in use for five minutes
  • Durable, lightweight, and affordable scope
  • Excellent precision shots
  • Impressive image quality


  • The power adjustment lever is too tight and difficult to use
  • Batteries drain quickly when using the illuminated reticle

View Price Here


Both the Leupold VX-3i and VX-6HD are premium quality scopes that are sure to get the job done. They both consist of light-bettering capabilities suitable for multiple environments, including those with low-lighting. However, which of them is a more efficient option?

Final verdict: So, which is better, VX-3i or VX6HD?

Upon considering both options, the Leupold VX-3i is a better optic than the VX-6HD, as it makes hunting in low-light environments a breeze. The scope provides high-quality performance with its wide magnification range and numerous reticle options. It is also quite durable and comes at a reasonable price.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I send my scope back for service or repair?

Yes, you can send your optic for warranty or service to the manufacturer with a note of instruction of what you would like done.

What is the difference between the first focal plane (FFP) and the second focal plane (SFP)?

The main difference between these two reticles is that the SFP reticle does change in size, even after magnification, unlike the FFP.


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