Leupold FX-II UltraLight 2.5x20 Riflescope Review


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Not every scope shopper and shooter is a 3-gun competitor or a long-range sniper.

If you’re a hunter that shoots within his means and those means are less than 200 yards, you need to know about the FX-II from Leupold.

If you’re having trouble finding a scope that mounts to your lever-action rifle, you need to know about the FX-II from Leupold.

If you’re looking for a compact scope that mounts to your carbine, you need to know about the FX-II from Leupold.

It’s the lightest scope TT has ever seen and may very well be the best scope for your lightweight needs.

Scouting? Getting older? Shooting from a treestand?

You need to know about the FX-II from Leupold.

Quick Overview...

What We Like: Leupold quality

What We Don’t Like: Minor glass issues

Best Uses: Big Game Hunting, Small Game Hunting, Varmint Hunting, Target Shooting, Scouting, Close-Range, Rimfires, Carbines, Lever-Action, Light to Heavy Caliber Rifles

  • Magnification: 2.5x
  • Objective Diameter: 20mm
  • Coatings: FMC
  • FOV: 39.5 ft/100 yds
  • Eye Relief: 4.9”
  • Adjustments: ¼ MOA
  • Dimensions: 8”/6.5 ounces

Our Verdict: It almost doesn’t matter what you’re shooting with or what you’re hunting, the FX-II UltraLight scope will do the job. What does matter is distance. As a low, fixed-power scope, it’s great for distances up to 200 yards as it is for 50 yards. If you’re a simple hunter that demands both simplicity and high performance from your scope, you may want to buy a few of these.

Who is the Leupold FX-II UltraLight 2.5X20 Wide Duplex Best Suited to?

With its fixed, low power, this is a scope where most shots will be within 100 yards. It’s excellent for treestand hunting, thick brush, wooded areas, and the like.

Perfectly suitable for all types of game, many buyers have mounted it to a Marlin 336, Marlin 1894, Marlin 1895, Ruger American Predator 308, Rem Model Seven, 30-30, AKs, carbines, and more.

While its size is obviously perfect for carbines, it’s also well-suited to lever-action rifles. Its smaller objective and shorter ocular bell doesn’t interfere with the sights and hammer and is low profile enough to gain a consistent and solid cheek weld.

How Does the Leupold FX-II UltraLight 2.5X20 Wide Duplex Perform?

Leupold FX-II Ultralight 2.5x20 riflescope
Image Credit - Leupold

For some, just saying that the FX-II is a “Leupold” is enough to pull the trigger on the buy. For others, more detail is needed. The FX-II UltraLight has fixed magnification and is an affordable scope under $300. It’s a good buy for lever guns, scout rifles, and more. In this case, it’s less about what you’re using and more about your hunting style.

If you’re making long-shots, you’ll need more power, finger-adjustable turrets, etc, so this ain’t the scope for you. The FX-II shines for its ultra-lightweight platform and simple operation. It’s a zero-in, instantly ready, fast target acquisition scope for creeping in and nailing the kill-zone on your prey.

Just because it’s small, it doesn’t mean it ain’t up to the task. Its one-piece construction and minimal moving components mean it’s rugged and tough. It’s completely waterproof and fogproof to handle the harsh climate of Winter tags and coyote hunting.

Having the FX-II on your rifle means that you can’t blame fatigue on your scope or weapon system. Make scouting easier on your joints by lightening up your setup. This Leupold scope couldn’t be more appropriate for the job, and of course, the hunt.

Features & Benefits

Leupold FX-II Ultralight 2.5x20 Wide Duplex Riflescope
Image Credit - Leupold

Leupold Quality

We all know that Leupold has a reputation for great quality glass and numberless proprietary formulas. The view through this budget Leupold is better than average but not to the standard of their high-end models.  

Unfortunately, Leupold doesn’t give more than a generic answer about their Advanced Optical System. It seems to be the same lens coating technology used in the Leupold VX scopes that is designed for extended glassing. This makes sense since its light weight and compact size makes it the best choice for long hunting days.

With maximum light transmission, reduced glare, and improved resolution and clarity, there is something to the Advanced Optical System. It must be at least equivalent to FMC (fully multi-coated coatings) but is likely above the industry standard – it’s a Leupold.

Made for All Rifles

We could sit here all day and talk about what rifles the FX-II is good for. Regardless of the distance abilities of your loads, this scope is great for thick brush and close-range hunting within 200 yards. It is a 2.5x scope after all.

Whether you have a lever-action, forward-mounted scout setup, or short carbine rifle, the FX-II is well-paired with all. What about hard-kicking rifles? With 5” (approx.) of eye relief, you can bet it’s safe to use.

Another factor that lends to its ability to be used with multiple rifles including the kickers is its short 2.1” eyepiece. Longer eyepieces will surreptitiously reduce eye relief which forces the shooter to mount it further forward which may require extension rings. With a 2.1” length, it’s a non-issue.

Close-Range Hunting

With the Wide Duplex reticle, it has a slightly larger center with fine crosshairs that’s excellent for all-purpose shooting. It’s a fast target acquisition scope in every way from its power setting to its reticle. Subtension is about 1 MOA at 100 yards (approx. 1”), so it’s more than doable to make longer shots if you’re at harmony with the fixed power.

The ¼ MOA turrets are not finger adjustable, so it’s not well-suited to making fast adjustments in the field. The idea is to zero in, set it, and forget it. Know what your loads do at various distances and you won’t have to holdover – i.e., shoot within your limits.

Obviously, the FX-II UltraLight scope is for hunters who know their terrain and hunting style.

Ultra-Lightweight

FX-II Ultralight 2.5x20 riflescope
Image Credit - Leupold

Seriously, the FX-II weighs only 6.5 ounces. It may be the most featherweight rifle we’ve ever come across. It’s only 8” long so compactness is on its side too.

Its size is its number one advantage. The FX-II is the solution for lightweight setups since it doesn’t overwhelm the entire system. It’s also excellent for carbine rifles because it doesn’t overwhelm the short barrel.

If you want lightweight, compact, and high-performance in one package, the Leupold FX-II UltraLight 2.5x20 Wide Duplex scope is the real deal.

Limitations

Minor Glass Issues

The FX-II doesn’t have the glass quality that many have come to love about Leupold, but then again, for the brand, it’s much more affordable than many of their other offerings. The view has been compared to the old VX-1 and VX-2 lines.

The main complaint about the view, if there is complaint, is minor edge distortion. Fortunately, it doesn’t seem to be the trend. If the edge softening is reasonable and Leupold determines there is no defect, hopefully you’re not spending 90% of your time glassing through the edges.

This may be a con if you’re skeptical of its price tag, but you’re paying for more a scope that is designed, machined, and assembled in the USA. The warranty is also unbeatable. If you want to stick with the brand you know with the warranty you love, it’s worth the cost.

Popular Questions

Are there Other Reticles Available on the FX-II UltraLight Scope?

The FX series of scopes have duplex reticles. The FX-II UltraLight only offers the Wide Duplex reticle. It’s great for 1 MOA precision at 100 yards.

Can the Leupold FX-II be Mounted to a Rimfire?

Absolutely. It’s compact and lightweight size fits a rimfire rifle like the Ruger 10/22 very well. The FX-II UltraLight scope is at home with 22LR, 22Mag and 17HMR as it is with 338 Win Mag and 45-70 cartridges and more.

Is the Leupold FX-II Scope Waterproof?

As a Leupold scope, it’s protected from weather exposure. The FX-II UltraLight is shockproof, waterproof, and fogproof.

Is there a Fixed 4x FX-II Scope?

There is no FX-II UltraLight 4x power scope. The only 4x FX scope is the extremely popular FX-1 Rimfire 4x28 Fine Duplex scope.
It’s factory-set for parallax at 60 yards, has 4x magnification, and microfriction turrets. It’s competitive in price with the FX-II UltraLight scope.

What is the Warranty on the Leupold FX-II Scope?

The Leupold FX-II UltraLight 2.5x20 Wide Duplex scope is covered under Leupold’s Lifetime Guarantee Warranty. If the scope fails to perform due to defects in craftsmanship and materials, they’ll replace or repair it without cost to you.
You don’t need proof of purchase, there is no time limit on warranty coverage, and you don’t need to be the original owner. If you own the scope, it’s covered.

Conclusion

Now that you know all about the FX-II from Leupold, what do you think?

It has a lot going for it and performs better than expected when used in the appropriate terrain and within reasonable distances.

So, what’s your hunting style? Does it demand having an FX-II UltraLight scope on your rifle?

Of course it does!

Further Reading

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