Leupold GR (Golden Ring) 20-60X80 Spotting Scope w/ Impact Reticle

gr-20-60x80mm-with-reticleViewing Configuration: Straight
Magnification: 20-60X
Power Variability: Variable
Adjustable Eyepieces: No
Eyepiece included: Yes
Objective Diameter: 80 mm
Close Focus Distance: 25 feet
Length: 15.5 inches
Weight: 61.8 ounces
Field of View: 121-42 feet/1000 yards
Eye Relief/Exit Pupil: 30 mm/ 4.1-1.3 mm
Optics Coatings: Fully Multi-Coated
Glass: Not Listed
Focus System: Collar/Single Focus
Waterproof/Fog-proof: Yes/Yes
Digiscope adaptable: Yes

Best Uses: Hunting, For the Range, Birdwatching, Wildlife Observation, Photography

Our Rating: 5 Stars

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Leupold Golden Ring Spotting Scope Review

The GR 20-60X80 spotting scope has it all when it comes to feature-packed prowess with the famed GR trademark, FLP system, and an Impact Reticle in FFP. It has the Xtended Twilight Lens System and DiamondCoat 2 in a magnesium chassis.

There are no online buyer ratings or reviews to report to you yet. It seems the most expensive spotting scope in Leupold’s spotter options is too expensive for hunters to afford.

And, as the most expensive spotting scope Leupold has to offer, I’m reviewing it first. We may as well start off strong with the jaw-dropper spotter, right? Besides, there is practically no good or useful information out there on this model, other than what you get from Leupold. So, here’s to an unbiased, full rundown on the Leupold GR 20-60X80.

I can hear exactly what you’re asking, “What are all those abbreviations and fancy features supposed to mean?”. Don’t fret, our Q&A has all the answers!

PROs:
  • Digiscope adaptable
  • High power
  • Reticle
  • Fully weatherproof
  • Gold Ring Guarantee
CONs:
  • Price

 

GR 20-60X80 Q&A:

What does GR stand for?

Are you ready for this? If you know anything about Leupold, you’re about to kick yourself in the behind once I tell you what it stands for.

Golden Ring.

Duh! You knew that right? It’s Leupold’s trademarked symbol that indicates it’s their flagship line of optics.

 

What is Leupold’s Golden Ring Warranty?

Leupold trusts that their products are going to deliver the hunter nothing less than the best results.

And, if you’ve ever needed an item returned, refunded, repaired, or replaced, Leupold is praised for taking care of it – even if you’re not a dedicated Leupold fan, you can’t deny their excellent warranty coverage.

The GR Warranty is so simple. Don’t keep your receipt, you don’t need your product number, don’t register in a hurry, and you don’t need to be the original owner. Just contact them on how to send in your spotter and they’ll take care of the rest – for free.

Note: This doesn’t include optics with electronic components

 

What is the FLP system?

This is Leupold’s Folded Light Path system that actually doesn’t use a prism assembly at all. Weird right?

Apparently, it uses a mirror system to create that familiar “Z” shaped optical path, similar to a Porro prism assembly in many spotting scopes and binoculars.

The idea is, light gets folded in the Z shape for less light loss and to create a more compact optical pathway. Instead of highly-reflective glass coatings, this prism-less system uses mirrors (which is really glass with special coatings on it anyway) to get the image right side up, forward-facing, and to enable use of the zooming power.

I do suspect a little “dressing up” in terms here, but I do admit, the GR certainly looks rather slim.

 

What is the Impact Reticle on Leupolds GR 20-60X80?

The Impact Reticle is unique to the GR spotting scopes. It’s featured on this 20-60X80 and the GR 12-40X60 HD spotter.

The reticle is located in the FFP and it has a combination of MOA and mil-dot scale measurements. “What?”, is what I already hear you thinking.

Yes, you read that right – both MRAD and mil-dot. The crosshairs are located toward the bottom center of the lens. It’s a square box in the center with a line that runs through the center of it to each side of the field of view.

The main box is a scale that’s measured in MOA. Additionally, there are 1 mil dot circles that are spaced apart on top of and alongside the left of the MOA square.

 

What is FFP?

FFP stands for Front Focal Plane. First Focal Plane is also another word for it with the exact same meaning.

FFP reticles are different to SFP (Second Focal Plane) or Rear Focal Plane reticles. The main advantage of a FFP design is the fact that the crosshair subtension and spacing is going to stay the same in relation to the target.

The crosshairs also increase in size as you increase magnification, making it easier and clearer to see on your target.

These benefits mean that you can accurately use your reticle with spot-on distance estimations at any magnification.

If you need a little more information on this, read this Reticle Subtension Explained snippet.

 

What is the Xtended Twilight Lens System?

To put this simply and in layman’s terms, it’s basically Leupold’s technology that involves glass elements and coatings that pretty much give it the effects of Extra-Low Dispersion glass. But, it goes a step further.

Everything that goes into the XT lenses are what gives the spotter its bright, color-true, and clear images, even in low light conditions. How?…

 

How does the Xtended Twilight Lens System work?

First off, during daylight hours, the wavelength specific lens coatings will align and compensate for the differing wavelengths of colors like green and blue to give chromatic aberration-free images with excellent contrast, color, and brightness.

But, during low light hours, blue lightrays are more prominent and specific lens coatings will help to maximize light transmission of this part of the color spectrum.

This means that you end up with a brighter image, detail definition, and unsurpassed clarity during the hours you need it most.

 

What is DiamondCoat 2?

This is the coating system that caters to a couple aspects of the scope’s performance.

The first to address is its importance in light transmittance. Each lens has been treated with fully multi-coated coatings. With this quality of coatings, each lens is going to allow as much light to pass through as possible.

Secondly, the coating also caters to the lens hardness and durability. It’s supposed to be scratch-resistant, strong, and solid.

DiamondCoat 2 is also seen on many of Leupold’s rifle scopes, and so, if it’s good enough for the U.S. military, it’s definitely going to be good enough for you.

 

Does it have a sunshade?

No, a sunshade is not included in the box and there isn’t a built-in, retractable sunshade.

Confused? I mean, if the $300 SX-1 Ventana has a built-in sunshade, shouldn’t this grossly expensive spotter have one too? Well, it doesn’t have one because it doesn’t need one.

If you look at the scope, you can clearly see that the objective lens is recessed back into the objective bell. This gives the desired effects of a sunshade.

 

What is the eye relief on the Leupold GR 20-60X80?

It’s a super-long, extended 30 mm! You might find it really nice to work with, especially if you like to keep your shades on or if you wear glasses.

For myself, it’s a little long. I prefer to be closer for a full view of the entire field of view. I like snug. But, hey! To each their own!

 

How much does the Leupold GR cost?

I have already mentioned that this is the most expensive spotting scope Leupold has. And, at full retail price, it’s $2900.

The retail price for the model without the reticle is $2500, but the street price online is about $1900 – that’s quite the savings.

While this GR spotter isn’t new to the line-up, like the Kenai 2 and the Ventana 2 are, it does make you think where are all the buyers and the reviews?

Perhaps the $2900 is directing hunters more towards a Swarovski, Leica, or a Zeiss.

 

Noteworthy Features:

  • Fully multi-coated optics with XT Lens System and DiamondCoat 2
  • Impact Reticle with MOA and Mrad measurements in FFP
  • FLP system for more compact light path
  • Gold Ring spotting scope
  • Fully fog-proof and waterproof to endure all types of weather
  • Extremely long eye relief of 30 mm
  • Backed by Leupold’s Gold Ring Full Lifetime Guarantee

 

Our Verdict

The scoop on the scope is, the Leupold GR 20-60X80 spotting scope with the reticle is a great spotter, and it has all the right ideas when it comes to features. The reticle is a very nice touch for this long-ranging unit. However, it lacks some premium features like a dual focus system that could justify the very high price. Granted, the extended eye relief is excellent, but with this hefty price tag, it’s hard not to look somewhere else.

That “somewhere else” could always be the Meopta MeoPro 20-60×80 HD Angled spotter that can rival the Leupold. It doesn’t have the extended eye relief but it does have a dual focus system, and it has Schott glass! Guess what? It’s cheaper! Read our full review on the MeoPro right here.

However, Leupold does have another high-ticket scope in the market, the newer Leupold Kenai 2 25-60x80mm HD Angled Spotting Scope (which you can read about here). There’s quite the few changes on this model compared to its older counterpart, but you might appreciate the premium features at a lower cost.

If you’ve always wanted to own a Leupold, no matter the cost, the GR 20-60X80 spotting scope is your chance to go big. You know what they say, “Go big or go home!”

 

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