TESTED: Leupold Mark 5HD 7-35x56mm Riflescope (Part 2)

We are back with part two of this two-part story featuring the Leupold Mark 5 HD Riflescope! In part one, we covered unboxing, features, installation, and bedding the rings to the scope tube. The Mark 5HD has 32 variations, ours being the 7-35x56mm version with the Leupold proprietary CCH reticle. For this  story, we’ll pick up where we left off and jump into lab and field testing.


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Leupold Mark 5HD 7-35×56 M5C3 FFP CCH Reticle 17456 Detailed Specs

In part 1 we covered high-level specs, so here we’ll expand on that with the fine details!

From the Leupold Mark 5 HD Product Page:


A versatile 5:1 zoom ratio gives you 5 times more magnification at high power than at low power (model magnification ranges may be available in powers of 5x: 1-5, 2-10, 3-15, 4-20, etc.), so you can adjust your magnification to find the perfect balance between magnification and field of view for any situation. The larger the zoom ratio, the more versatile one scope can be.


Leupold’s Professional-Grade Optical System offers unmatched light transmission that’s designed to outperform in the most challenging lighting conditions, industry-leading glare reduction for a clear image in harsh, direct light, and the resolution and clarity that professional guides and shooters demand in the field.


The available 1/10th MIL (M5C3) or click windage and elevation provide precise and repeatable dialing for any shooter.


Large 35mm main tubes produce ample windage and elevation adjustment travel, which is ideal for long-range shooting.


Leupold pioneered modern waterproof and fogproof technology using advanced internal gasses and sealing methods that withstand extreme temperatures, elevation changes, and shocks, so the internals of the optics stay moisture free and crystal clear for life.


M5C3 ZeroLock® Adjustments: These low-profile dials are available on select models and provide up to 30-MILs of adjustment in 3 revolutions and 0.1 MIL clicks. Visual and tactile revolution indicators ensure you don’t get lost in the travel. The ZeroLock® feature prevents inadvertent adjustments and ensures accurate return to zero.

Finish Matte
Adjustable Objective No
Elevation Adjustment Type M5C3
Locking Dial Yes
Revolution Indicator Yes
Rezero Type Set Screw
Windage Adjustment Type Capped
Custom Dial System (CDS) No
Custom Dial Compatible Yes
BDC Dial Included No
Reticle FFP CCH
Illuminated No
Nightvision Compatible Illumination No
Daylight Bright Illumination No
Motion Sensor Technology (MST) No
Electronic Reticle Level No
Guard-ion Lens Coating No
Weight (oz) 33
Elevation Adjustment Value per Click 0.1Mil
Elevation Adjustment Range (MOA) 100
Elevation Adjustment Range (MIL) 29
Elevation Adjustment Range (cm @ 100m) 291
Elevation Adjustment Per Revolution 10.5 MIL
Elevation Dial Travel Limit 30MIL
Windage Adjustment Value per Click 0.1Mil
Windage Adjustment Range (MOA) 50
Windage Adjustment Range (MIL) 15
Windage Adjustment Range (cm @ 100m) 145
Windage Adjustment Per Revolution 10 MIL
Magnification Max 35
Magnification Min 7
Objective Lens Diameter (mm) 56
Linear FOV Low Mag (ft@100yds) 14.7
Linear FOV High Mag (ft@100yds) 3
Angular FOV Low Mag (Degrees) 2.8
Angular FOV High Mag (Degrees) .6
Eye Relief Low Mag (in) 3.6
Eye Relief High Mag (in) 3.8
Minimum Parallax-Free Distance (yd) 50

Reticle information from this scope from the Leopold website: (click/tap in image below to enlarge)

Test Results

We performed a variety of tests to evaluate the accuracy and quality of the Leupold Mark 5HD 7-35×56 FFP M5C3 CCH riflescope. These tests were conducted using our Optics Test Rig (OTR) at 50 and 100 yards. Here’s a summary of our results!


Tracking was tested using our Ultimate Reloader Optics Test Rig (OTR) and companion 100 yard MIL scaled test target/chart.

(Above, tracking for elevation results Click/Tap to enlarge)

Elevation Tracking was excellent on the Leupold Mark 5HD 7-35×56 scope, with the following measured results:

Elevation tracking error = (0.01 + 0.01) / 6 MIL total) = 0.003 MIL / MIL

(Above, tracking for windage results Click/Tap to enlarge)

Windage tracking error = (0.1 + 0.03) / (6 MIL total) = 0.022 MIL / MIL

Reticle Hashmarks Accuracy, Reticle Alignment

(Above, reticle alignment and hash marks accuracy Click/Tap to enlarge)

This CCH (Combat Competition Hunter)  reticle is a Leupold proprietary reticle. It was developed with shooter input and has a ton of usable features. Some of you may find this very “busy” and many will like it and learn to use the reticle for ranging, bracketing and quick shot correction. 

After alignment of target and the scope all testing showed the accuracy and tracking of the reticle is excellent. Tracking of the reticle proved to be 100%. All clicks were to the exact mark and then perfectly back to zero or start mark.

Image Distortion

In the above image, you can see a rectangle overlay showing straight lines on the grid (no pin cushion distortion) when a red square is overlaid. This indicates no measurable distortion. A great result!

Magnification Accuracy

Once again we recorded various magnification settings during a zoom test, and then scaled them so they should all be the same size. And here’s the result: (click/tap to enlarge)

In the comparison above, each scaled square should be the same size. And they all are!

These images were generated by scaling up the lower power images based on the ratio of magnifications. Here’s my math for that in photoshop:

Scope Power Image width (scaled to same size)
7 5000
9 3889
12 2917
15 2333
19 1842
23 1522
28 1250
35 1000

It’s nice when things work out according to the math.

Parallax Testing

To test parallax, we first dialed the scope to 100 yards, our test distance. We then used the updated Optics Test Rig (OTR) to move the camera (simulating the shooter’s eye) to the left and right by 0.040″. This shows how effective the scopes parallax is when dealing with head shift. Here’s what we observed: (click/tap to enlarge)

I was very happy to see that we had to go beyond 0.040 to have any loss of view and no change in P.O.A.. 

Shooting Impressions

Both Gavin and I have used this scope on various rifles. Gavin has even shot a PRS match with it. We both feel this is a solid “go to” scope. All turrets are low profile. The top locking turret has a return to zero while the windage knob is capped. The peace of mind this brings when moving around a barricade is not always needed but it sure is nice to have. The turret clicks have a very positive tactile click with every mark. The windage turret is just the same, excellent. One feature is the ability to adjust your parallax knob. Yes you can even “set/zero” your parallax just like the turrets. This is a scope that will track perfectly, focus easily, and show targets in low level light. The reticle will take some learning and once that is done it will provide valuable information to the shooter. Leupold has a winner with the Mark 5HD!

Get the Gear

You can find the Leupold Mark 5 HD for sale here:

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Travis Fox

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