What is the Leupold Optics Academy?

Did you know that Leupold Optics has their own academy? I recently visited their impressive range in Central, Oregon to test their Mark 4HD line. Watch or read on to learn more! 


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About the Leupold Optics Academy 

Colbly Ingram, Chief of Range Operations at the Leupold Academy in Madras, Oregon took some time to discuss the facility.

The property allows 360 degrees of safe shooting from all different angles. The versatility is unmatched, allowing Leupold to conduct all sorts of product testing in one location. They have traditional paper ranges as well as various steel ranges designed to mimic hunting and match scenarios. Their dedicated “hunt course” spans between three and five miles with 360 degrees of shooting.

Colby explained that the rifle, scope, ammunition, and shooter all play a role in down-range success, but the optic is the least understood. That’s what the Leupold Optics Academy strives to change.

Aerial View of the Leupold Optics Academy

This facility is sadly not open to the public, but is invite-only. Leupold brings a number of industry partners and media to the property and also hosts dealer-distributor events. Engineers are always working on developing and refining new products at the location.

My Experience

While the sight of a classroom may bring up bad memories for some, it was where I gained some of the most valuable knowledge on this trip.

Before heading to the range, various presenters introduced us to the reticle and optic we would be shooting as well as the new 6mm Aero Solus by Aero Precision and Hornady 4DOF.

Aero Precision discussing the new SOLUS.

We also talked about tradeoffs in scope design and had the chance to handle cut-aways to truly see the internal workings of a scope.

The cut-aways were invaluable in educating everyone how optics work, allowing for greater appreciation of the products we tested. 

Another interesting session took place just outside the classroom. Leupold lined up scopes from a variety of manufacturers for easy comparison in light conditions ranging from full-blinding sun to low-light. 

The shooting experience was also much different from what I am used to at the Ultimate Reloader Ranch. During one of the exercises, I was told not to dial at all, only to hold for windage and elevation. We had spotters from Leupold and engaged varying-sized targets as we worked our way to further distances.

This is extremely difficult for me to do at the Ultimate Reloader Ranch, largely due to the strange things wind does in the canyon and the varying terrain. I learned a lot during this session I can take back with me! 


I left this event having learned an incredible amount that I’m looking forward to applying to my shooting and content.

Nic Kytlica

Stay tuned for a rifle build featuring the Aero Precision SOLUS chassis and one of the new Leupold Mark 4HD scopes

Get the Gear

Shop the full line of Leupold Mark 4HD scopes at Midsouth Shooters Supply!

Hornady 6mm 80 Grain ELD-VT V-Match Ammunition at Midsouth Shooters Supply

Aero Precision SOLUS

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Gavin Gear

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