By Dave Domin

Leupold’s Custom Dial System or CDS is the last word in long range shot placement. When the CDS is coupled with Leupold’s latest generation of RX rangefinders, shooters are afforded the best possible combination to achieve long range accuracy.

Unlike other systems that use generic ballistics information to generate equally generic drop data, the CDS uses the shooter’s unique ballistics and environmental conditions to calculate true custom drop values that are laser engraved onto the dial. The first step in getting this done is to determine the best load for the rifle. Since no two guns will shoot the same load identically, it is important to get the most accurate ballistic data possible. Since the CDS system will only be as accurate as the information the shooter supplies to Leupold, loads should be chronographed and the elevation and temperature, +/- 2000 feet and +/- 20 degrees Fahrenheit respectively, should match the intended use area. Leupold will need the following data; cartridge, bullet type, bullet weight, ballistic coefficient, muzzle velocity, average altitude, average temperature and sight height. The CDS will have a 100 or 200 yard zero in most cases (determined by the customer), then read in 50 yard increments out to the maximum yardage that can be reached on the dial. The CDS dial itself can be a one turn dial with zero stop (14.5 MOA), a two turn dial with Zero Lock (29.5 MOA), or a three turn target dial without a stop (45 MOA), depending on the scope model.

CDS_ZL_Turret_detail_rightThe Leupold Custom Dial System is available in three scope lines, the first of which is the VX-2. The latest generation VX-2 redefines high performance. Leupold uses carefully selected lead free lenses with Index Matched lens coatings that are precisely positioned with each other to deliver up to 94% light transmission with the highest levels of optical clarity. The addition of DiamondCoat on the exterior lens surfaces provides the utmost in abrasion resistance. The VX-2 also utilizes other updated design features including an externally threaded fast-focus eyepiece for quick and easy reticle focus. To keep this scope fog proof for life, it is filled with Leupold’s industry leading second generation Argon/Krypton blend. This blend is drier and more resistant to thermal shock than the traditional nitrogen filled scopes.

The VX-2, with CDS, is available in six magnification ranges and feature the Wind-Plex reticle. The sleek, classic lines and that iconic Golden Ring means that you will be buying a scope that is as durable as it is aesthetically pleasing.

VX3i_3.5_10x40_CDS_angleThe second line of Leupold riflescopes available with CDS is the VX-3i. The VX-3i is built around Leupold’s new Twilight Max Light Management System which balances all available light wavelengths, eliminates glare, and pushes resolution to the limit. Beginning with lead-free lenses, Leupold applies Twilight Max lens coatings. These coatings optimize the red and blue frequencies of light, those found at the very first and last moments of the day, while maintaining a high transmission of the light at the center of the spectrum, delivering exceptional contrast and low light performance. These lenses are then topped off with Diamondcoat 2 for the highest level of abrasion resistance. The next step is the elimination of glare. Although not often said, this step actually lowers overall light transmission by removing or absorbing stray light, only transmitting useful light to your eye, creating an improved sight picture. This is accomplished by first precision machining the VX-3i’s interior and then by blackening the edges of key lenses within the scope.

Leupold engineers didn’t stop at light management on the VX-3i. The VX-3i, with CDS, is available in 5 magnification ranges and feature the Wind-Plex or Duplex reticle. This newly redesigned riflescope has models that are ideal for virtually any hunting situation. Rounding out the features of the VX-3i is an aggressively redesigned power selector which is easy to grasp and turn, larger and brighter magnification numbering, match grade dual spring adjustment and Argon/Krypton waterproofing.

LEU_VX6_2_12x42_CDS_ZL_profleFinally there is the VX-6, all of which are CDS equipped. Leupold has been developing cutting-edge optics since the 1940’s, so it is no surprise that they have done it again with their top of the line VX-6 riflescopes. As with all of Leupold’s Gold Ring products, the VX-6 is designed, machined and assembled at their state-of-the-art facility in Beaverton, Oregon.

Leupold didn’t pull any punches when designing this line of riflescopes. They began with a one-piece maintube crafted out of aircraft grade aluminum for unrivaled durability. Available in 30mm and 34mm diameters, they offer plenty of windage and elevation adjustment for the longest of shots. From there, lead free, edge-blackened lenses with Xtended Twilight and DiamondCoat™ 2 lens coatings optimize light transmission in low light conditions, provide unparalleled scratch resistance and offer a crystal clear image throughout the magnification range. While the extreme fast-focus eyepiece makes reticle focus easy to achieve and maintain in the field.

SRA_CDS_ZL_Turret_detail_leftSelect models offer the Wind-Plex™ reticle and the CDS-ZL (Zero Lock) elevation dial. The Wind-Plex reticle has hash marks spaced at 1 MOA intervals along the horizontal stadia which aid in windage holds when it is blowing outside. While the CDS-ZL elevation dial allows the shooter to return to zero without over-rotating and when zeroed it locks into place preventing inadvertent dial rotation in the field.

SRA_223_4The illuminated VX-6 scopes feature Leupold’s exclusive FireDot® illumination system. The one button, low profile design gives the shooter 12 illumination settings to choose from, plus Motion Sensor Technology (MST) that deactivates the illumination after 5 minutes of inactivity and instantly reactivates it as soon as movement is detected. Should the VX-6 be a long-range model, the side focus dial is placed around the illumination control for fast and simple one handed operation. VX-6 is also filled with Argon/Krypton for waterproofing and, as with all Leupold Gold Ring products, is backed by the industry leading Gold Ring Full Lifetime Guarantee.

All Leupold scopes equipped with CDS come with a coupon for a free custom dial. For those of you that use multiple loads or switch scopes between rifles, additional dials can be purchased through the Leupold Custom Shop. For more information about this truly custom shooting solution, visit your local Sportsman’s Warehouse or visit today.