In 1907 Fred Leupold set up shop at 5th and Oak Streets in Portland, Oregon. Soon joined by his brother-in-law, Adam Voelpel (and a bit later by John Stevens), the company didnâ€™t make riflescopes in those days. Although scopes existed, they werenâ€™t in much demand. In fact, it wasnâ€™t until after Fred Leupoldâ€™s death that Leupold made their first riflescope, but his slogan remains in the corporate culture: â€śThe customer is entitled to a square deal.â€ť
The first commercial Leupold riflescope was the 2.5X Plainsman, introduced in 1947 after Marcus Leupold missed a shot at an Oregon blacktail due to fogged lenses. He figured he could make a better scope than that, and the legend began. Today, this homegrown (now fifth-generation) Oregon company has become a world power in sporting optics.
Life was simpler in the 1960s when I owned my first Leupold scope. It was a fixed-power 2.5X, still a fairly standard optic for the day. But things would change. Today, between hunting/shooting and tactical lines, Leupold offers something like two dozen lines of magnifying scopesâ€”excluding reflex â€śred dotâ€ť sights and nonmagnifying scopes. To encapsulate what’s offered, we’ve rounded up some of the best Leupold riflescopes on the market.