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Leupold’s CDS Explained: Part I

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December 29, 2010

Leupold’s CDS Explained: Part I

By David E. Petzal

by David E. Petzal

As I revealed in my post of December 22, Leupold has a new range-compensating system called CDS which offers some major advantages to those of you who yearn to hit things Way Out There. Here’s how it works:

1. Buy a Leupold VX-3 scope equipped for the CDS system. (There are five models from which you can choose.) The scope comes with a “sighter” elevation dial that you use for getting the scope on target.

2. Figure out which loads you want to shoot at long range and then call the Leupold Custom Shop (1-800-LEUPOLD) so they can make you a custom dial. Provide them with the diameter, ballistic coefficient, bullet type (spitzer, round nose, etc.), muzzle velocity (it helps if you have a chronograph so you can give them what you’re actually getting), the average elevation and temperature at which you shoot, and whether you intend to zero the gun at 100 or 200 yards. The price is $50 per dial.

3. Leupold will then calculate how many clicks you need so that you can hit dead on at ranges from 100 to 600 yards, and will laser-engrave the yardages and index lines on an elevation dial. They will also engrave the info you give them on top of the dial so you can’t get it confused with another one.

4. Once you have your custom dial(s) you sight your rifle in to hit dead-on at 100 or 200 yards. Then, loosen the three tiny set screws that hold your sighter dial and replace it with the custom dial of your choice. Line up the “100” marking on the new dial with the index line on the turret, tighten the three tiny set screws, and you’re done.

5. To use the CDS system in the field, lase whatever you want to put a bullet in and set the CDS dial to that distance. Then figure out what the wind is doing and pull the trigger. If you’re concerned that you’ll wear out the elevation machinery, be advised that Leupold has given the system as much as 2,000 full revolutions, continuously, and had no failures.

In Part II: my own excellent adventure with the CDS.

Comments (13)

Top Rated
All Comments
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 3 years 15 weeks ago

That may be a little complicated for some on here! LOL!

I think it is a great idea. I am sure to get one for my .358-06 very soon.

Thanks, David. Happy New Year!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clay Cooper wrote 3 years 15 weeks ago

NO SNIT WAM! ROFLMAO!

But seriously all jokes aside, I wouldn't give it a second thought on buying a Leupold, my #1 choice of scopes!!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from 99explorer wrote 3 years 15 weeks ago

Sorry to sound so negative, but I think the last really useful development in riflescopes came with the introduction of variable power scopes over fifty years ago.
I must be a member of the group WAM was referring to:)

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from kudukid wrote 3 years 15 weeks ago

"Then figure out what the wind is doing and pull the trigger."

Now that's what I call a "Devil-in-the-details".

Figuring out what the wind is doing and then knowing how to compensate for it with your particular load is the hard part.

Nevertheless, this is a clever idea Leupold engineers have come up with - especially the customized engraving, although I'd have to have my reading glasses on.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from ishawooa wrote 3 years 15 weeks ago

Bear in mind that this system is not Leupold's original idea and has been utilized by other scope makers for decades. In fact I have a neighbor who purchased scopes from Leupold as long as 10-15 years ago and then custom made very similiar knobs which he installed and sold with his hand built rifles. He had some kind of feud with Leupold a few years ago so now has his own line of similiar scopes manufactureded in Japan. Probably Leupold will expand the line to include an AO model shortly as there are some small but distinct advantages to having that feature for some shooters. Regardless as was stated by others we all know that the wild Wyoming wind is the main contender to deal with on any shot near or far. The more things change the more they remain the same...HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Beekeeper wrote 3 years 15 weeks ago

I have a .338/06 that will be wearing one as well. I have a VX-3 with a "buggy" elevation dial and it is going back any way. They will update one of their scopes for the CDS dials for a very reasonable price.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 3 years 15 weeks ago

Bee

But first, they have to actually HAVE a Leupold scope! LOL

Nobody is paying attention to this thread anyway. All are over bashing their heads into the door jam over DEP et al's comments on one S. Palin. Someone must have pissed in the egg nog.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from woodsmanj35 wrote 3 years 15 weeks ago

He he, ya they certainly have a peeing match going on over there. I'm to much off a simpleton to use that scope, all my shots are under a hundred and fifty yards. LoL, I hunt some of the brushiest (is that a word?) woods there is. Most shots are under forty yards! I do things the old fashioned way, a lever gun with iron sights, and on occasion a pump shotgun with nothin but a bead. It works for me.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from 99explorer wrote 3 years 15 weeks ago

I'm all in favor of technological advances in riflescopes, but I think we're well past the point of diminishing returns when we're talking about eliminating the inconvenience of having to hold over a bit on long shots.
I have to question the wisdom of Leupold's R&D investment in this project when 99% of the hunters take 99% of their deer at less than 75 yards.
But maybe the publicity of this development will help cement Leupold's reputation as an industry leader.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 3 years 15 weeks ago

99

There are a bunch of Western hunters that routinely are faced with shots outside the ranges you quoted. Deer are not the only game on the menu for a great many of us.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from 99explorer wrote 3 years 15 weeks ago

WAM-
True. And I think we can assume that Leupold has done some market research on this. They also may be taking a calculated business risk that there will be enough demand for such a product by shooters willing to indulge in the luxury of not having to memorize the trajectory of their ammo. It will be on file with Leupold.
I wish them the best of luck, and the same to their loyal customers.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from 99explorer wrote 3 years 15 weeks ago

Dave Petzal-
You really started something with that Sarah and the Caribou thing.
The party next door is still on a roll, and they've just spilled over onto page three.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Hornet_RN wrote 3 years 12 weeks ago

hey gun nuts,

i purchased a VX-3 CDS for my .30-06 Rem 700 BDL and was excited to see how this scope would work. i handload my own ammo and chronographed 10 shots. i used 150 grain Sierra GameKings with 50.3 grains of IMR 4064. the bullets clocked in around 2750 fps. anyways, i called Leupold and told them my specs. in about 2-3 weeks these custom dials showed up on my doorstep. i couldn't wait to try it out!

my dials were zeroed for 100 yards, so that dials could go up to around 550 yards...pretty good!

the shooting range i went to went out to 300 yards. so i zeroed the rifle at 100 yards and shot just about 1 MOA.

next, i tried out to 200 yards, so i turned the dial to "2." I still kept it at about 1 MOA at 200 yards!!!

next, i tried out 300 yards, and turned the dial to "3." i shot a five shot group and kept a 2 MOA group...pretty amazing!

BUY THE LEUPOLD CDS...IT WORKS!!!

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

from woodsmanj35 wrote 3 years 15 weeks ago

He he, ya they certainly have a peeing match going on over there. I'm to much off a simpleton to use that scope, all my shots are under a hundred and fifty yards. LoL, I hunt some of the brushiest (is that a word?) woods there is. Most shots are under forty yards! I do things the old fashioned way, a lever gun with iron sights, and on occasion a pump shotgun with nothin but a bead. It works for me.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 3 years 15 weeks ago

That may be a little complicated for some on here! LOL!

I think it is a great idea. I am sure to get one for my .358-06 very soon.

Thanks, David. Happy New Year!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from kudukid wrote 3 years 15 weeks ago

"Then figure out what the wind is doing and pull the trigger."

Now that's what I call a "Devil-in-the-details".

Figuring out what the wind is doing and then knowing how to compensate for it with your particular load is the hard part.

Nevertheless, this is a clever idea Leupold engineers have come up with - especially the customized engraving, although I'd have to have my reading glasses on.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from ishawooa wrote 3 years 15 weeks ago

Bear in mind that this system is not Leupold's original idea and has been utilized by other scope makers for decades. In fact I have a neighbor who purchased scopes from Leupold as long as 10-15 years ago and then custom made very similiar knobs which he installed and sold with his hand built rifles. He had some kind of feud with Leupold a few years ago so now has his own line of similiar scopes manufactureded in Japan. Probably Leupold will expand the line to include an AO model shortly as there are some small but distinct advantages to having that feature for some shooters. Regardless as was stated by others we all know that the wild Wyoming wind is the main contender to deal with on any shot near or far. The more things change the more they remain the same...HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 3 years 15 weeks ago

99

There are a bunch of Western hunters that routinely are faced with shots outside the ranges you quoted. Deer are not the only game on the menu for a great many of us.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clay Cooper wrote 3 years 15 weeks ago

NO SNIT WAM! ROFLMAO!

But seriously all jokes aside, I wouldn't give it a second thought on buying a Leupold, my #1 choice of scopes!!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from 99explorer wrote 3 years 15 weeks ago

Sorry to sound so negative, but I think the last really useful development in riflescopes came with the introduction of variable power scopes over fifty years ago.
I must be a member of the group WAM was referring to:)

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Beekeeper wrote 3 years 15 weeks ago

I have a .338/06 that will be wearing one as well. I have a VX-3 with a "buggy" elevation dial and it is going back any way. They will update one of their scopes for the CDS dials for a very reasonable price.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 3 years 15 weeks ago

Bee

But first, they have to actually HAVE a Leupold scope! LOL

Nobody is paying attention to this thread anyway. All are over bashing their heads into the door jam over DEP et al's comments on one S. Palin. Someone must have pissed in the egg nog.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from 99explorer wrote 3 years 15 weeks ago

I'm all in favor of technological advances in riflescopes, but I think we're well past the point of diminishing returns when we're talking about eliminating the inconvenience of having to hold over a bit on long shots.
I have to question the wisdom of Leupold's R&D investment in this project when 99% of the hunters take 99% of their deer at less than 75 yards.
But maybe the publicity of this development will help cement Leupold's reputation as an industry leader.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from 99explorer wrote 3 years 15 weeks ago

WAM-
True. And I think we can assume that Leupold has done some market research on this. They also may be taking a calculated business risk that there will be enough demand for such a product by shooters willing to indulge in the luxury of not having to memorize the trajectory of their ammo. It will be on file with Leupold.
I wish them the best of luck, and the same to their loyal customers.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from 99explorer wrote 3 years 15 weeks ago

Dave Petzal-
You really started something with that Sarah and the Caribou thing.
The party next door is still on a roll, and they've just spilled over onto page three.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Hornet_RN wrote 3 years 12 weeks ago

hey gun nuts,

i purchased a VX-3 CDS for my .30-06 Rem 700 BDL and was excited to see how this scope would work. i handload my own ammo and chronographed 10 shots. i used 150 grain Sierra GameKings with 50.3 grains of IMR 4064. the bullets clocked in around 2750 fps. anyways, i called Leupold and told them my specs. in about 2-3 weeks these custom dials showed up on my doorstep. i couldn't wait to try it out!

my dials were zeroed for 100 yards, so that dials could go up to around 550 yards...pretty good!

the shooting range i went to went out to 300 yards. so i zeroed the rifle at 100 yards and shot just about 1 MOA.

next, i tried out to 200 yards, so i turned the dial to "2." I still kept it at about 1 MOA at 200 yards!!!

next, i tried out 300 yards, and turned the dial to "3." i shot a five shot group and kept a 2 MOA group...pretty amazing!

BUY THE LEUPOLD CDS...IT WORKS!!!

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment