Skip to main content

Review: Leupold Mark 5HD

Review: Leupold Mark 5HD

The Mark 5HD is my favorite scope from Leupold. These are not Leupold’s most expensive scopes, but they offer a tremendous amount of performance for the money they command.

The Mark 5 line falls into what I call the “precision rifle” category of optics. The features it offers make it a good choice for everything from long-­range plinking and serious competition to military and law enforcement use.

The Mark 5HD heritage comes to us from the Mark 6 and Mark 8 lines. These two models of scopes were joint projects between Leupold and the U.S. Special Operations community. The focus of each was to provide our military with scopes that met strict size and weight parameters while offering military-­specific reticles and turret types.

While the military got what it wanted, these lines seemed to be either loved or hated by us regular folks. Leupold took everything it learned from building all those Mark 6 and Mark 8 scopes and applied it to the updated Mark 5HD.

A pertinent fact about Leupold is that they employ approximately 107 optical and mechanical engineers. Not only does Leupold produce its optical and mechanical designs in the U.S., they also build the Mark 5HD in its entirety in Oregon. The only part of the Mark 5HD that Leupold doesn’t make in Oregon are the glass lenses. They set the specifications and then check each one as the scope is assembled. All design, labor and manufacturing belongs to Leupold.

With long eye relief and a large eyebox, the Mark 5HD enables a shooter to get on target sooner.

That matters, because having all those engineers, machine operators and infrastructure means Leupold is beholden to no one and retains all of the knowledge they accumulate each year. Every day, all those people come in to work and generate a ton of skull sweat. The company captures that and no one learns faster and takes advantage of that knowledge better than Leupold.

Scoping the Mark 5HD The Mark 5HD is the latest representation of where Leupold is at from an optical design and manufacturing standpoint. It is my favorite scope because the company has had a decade designing, refining and producing the Mark 6 and Mark 8, giving the Mark 5 a huge leg up. Although the Mark 8 is quite a bit more expensive than the Mark 5HD, I have yet to see the difference between the two when looking through both scopes.

The Mark 5HD also has a better selection of reticles than previously offered, and their new Combat Competition Hunter (CCH) reticle is an excellent pick for those looking to explore holdover reticles. Leupold put a lot of thought and effort into the CCH and sought out some exceptionally talented consultants, and it shows in the final product.

The magazine well will accept AICS-style mags, only Magpul’s need to be pulled out by hand.

The cherry on top is its turret system. It is so simple to set the zero stop and there are three revolutions offering plenty of elevation travel. Once you’ve zeroed the scope, just loosen the setscrews on the turret’s exterior, lift it off and replace it with the witness marks lined up. Tighten the setscrews and you’re all done.

The Mark 5HD scope line currently has two models: the 3.6-­18x44mm and the 5-­25x56mm. The reticles offered in both models are the TMR, TMR-­illuminated, Tremor-­3, H-­59 and the CCH. 

Leupold Mark 5HD
Power: 3.6-18X (tested)
Objective: 44mm
Tube Diameter: 35mm
Elevation Adjustment: .1 Mil/.25 MOA per click
Windage: .1 Mil/.25 MOA per click
Reticle: TMR, TMR-I, CCH, Tremor-3, H-59
Length: 12.6 in.
Weight: 1 lb., 10 oz.
Eye Relief: 3.8 in.
MSRP: $2,340
Manufacturer: Leupold, 1-800-538-7653,

Current Magazine Cover

Enjoy articles like this?

Subscribe to the magazine.

Get access to everything Guns & Ammo has to offer.
Subscribe to the Magazine

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

Trijicon has dominated the Carry Optic landscape on hard-use handguns for years. With the new RMRcc, they plan on dominating the concealed carry market as well.Trijicon RMRcc Reflex Sight Review – Perfect for Concealed Carry

Trijicon RMRcc Reflex Sight Review – Perfect for Concealed Carry

Trijicon has dominated the Carry Optic landscape on hard-use handguns for years. With the new...

Jeremy Stafford

Sub-compact size and 9mm ammo capacity come together in the high-value, optic-ready Ruger Max-9 pistol.Ruger Max-9 Optic-Ready 9mm Sub-Compact Pistol: Tested & Full Review

Ruger Max-9 Optic-Ready 9mm Sub-Compact Pistol: Tested & Full Review

Sub-compact size and 9mm ammo capacity come together in the high-value, optic-ready Ruger...

Jeremy Stafford

Popular Videos

First Look: Springfield Armory Model 2020 Waypoint Bolt-Action Rifle

First Look: Springfield Armory Model 2020 Waypoint Bolt-Action Rifle

At the heart of the rifle is the Model 2020 action which wish designed and built with very tight tolerances thanks to Springfield's technology-driven manufacturing capabilities The stainless steel action features an integral recoil lug, and pairs with a fluted bolt employing dual cocking cams and an enhanced extractor for high pressure loads. The blueprinted and precisely machined action allows Springfield to offer the Model 2020 with .75" MOA accuracy guarantee. Despite being a production rifle, the Model 2020 should rival more expensive custom builds.

Pocket-Pistol Carry Tips and Tricks

Pocket-Pistol Carry Tips and Tricks

Pocket carry, as a method of concealed carry for a defensive firearm, can be a practical option when done right. This is especially true during the colder months when heavy outer garments can obstruct access to a traditional waistline holster. Former U.S. Navy SEAL Jeff Gonzales, president of Trident Concepts, joins G&A contributor Kimberly Heath-Chudwin to discuss guns, training and gear, including Blackhawk's TecGrip holster that can make pocket carry more successful.

Which Sight Is Faster - XS Sight Test

Which Sight Is Faster - XS Sight Test

Jeremy Stafford traveled to Gunsite Academy to compare the speed of stock sights against express, three-dot, suppressor-height and red dot sights.

See All Videos

Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!


Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services


Buy Digital Single Issues

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the Guns & Ammo App

Other Magazines

See All Other Magazines

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest Magazines

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get the top Guns & Ammo stories delivered right to your inbox every week.

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All Guns and Ammo subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now