Leupold Patrol 6HD 1-6x24mm Review
June 9th, 2023
6 minute read
So, you have decided you want an LPVO (Low Power Variable Optic), but you probably quickly learned there are a lot out there from which to choose. While some are superb, others can perform like they were free in the bottom of a Tactical Timmy breakfast cereal box. The Leupold Patrol HD6 1-6x24mm is most certainly in the former rather than the latter category. (Learn what an LPVO scope is here.)
Leupold’s Black Tubes
The thing about rifle scopes is they pretty much all look the same — a black tube with knobs, an objective and an eyepiece. So, if they all look the same and come similarly equipped, why is one $400 and another $1,500? The difference is the components and the way the scope is built.
One of the most important aspects of a scope is the lens as well as their coatings. Every optic manufacturer coats their lens with some super scientific-sounding name. Leupold in particular uses a hydrophobic lens coating they call Guard-ion. Whatever it’s called, the better the coating the more clear and crisp the image.
That’s the thing I noticed immediately with Patrol 6HD — it has a very clear image, even to the outer edge of the lens. Sharp edges on the images make it look like I’m watching a high-definition television. I could easily count the tines on a buck’s rack when he passes through the backyard each morning. At dawn and dusk, the scope absorbs light like a piece of bread sucks up gravy.
The Patrol 6HD is built for competition and self-defense work on a rifle like an AR-15, but it also would be at home on a hunting rifle. It is lightweight and, with the Leupold IMS one-piece mount, adds just 1.3 lbs. to your rifle. The IMS mount is rock solid with five screws clamping it to a Picatinny rail. That’s more screws than Frankenstein had to hold his head in place for those who are counting.
Versatile Glass in the Patrol 6HD
The 1-6X magnification of the scope allows you to engage targets in tight spaces at 1X, and with more magnification farther out across open spaces to medium and long-distance ranges. At the low end of the magnification range, the scope acts more like a red dot. With its 30mm tube and having both eyes open, it can be very fast on target — especially with the red illuminated CM-R2 reticle.
The versatility of the scope comes into play with the extra magnification power and the reticle hold-overs. The SFP (Second Focal Plane) reticle stays the same size throughout the magnification range. A removable throw lever provides leverage to quickly adjust magnification.
Second Focal Plane Horseshoe Reticle
The reticle is equipped with a 7.5 MOA horseshoe with a dot in the center. This is the part of the reticle that illuminates, and it works well for speed. The 7.5 MOA horseshoe plus sub tensions to the left and right of the horseshoe are good for rapid range estimation. Below the horseshoe are vertical sub tension hold-overs for targets out to 900 yards. Leupold recommends the CM-R2 reticle be zeroed at 200 yards using M855 5.56mm NATO/.223 Remington ammunition with a muzzle velocity of 2,810 fps with 62-grain FMJ bullets for optimum results.
Press the gold logo on the left side of the scope to turn on the reticle and adjust the brightness. Motion sensor technology shuts off juice from the battery to maximize battery life. The reticle instantly illuminates to the last setting when sensing movement so there is no need to mess with the button if you want the reticle illuminated.
Another interesting feature of the reticle is it will flash when the scope isn’t level. Think of it as a dummy light on your vehicle. Why is this important? At close range a reticle not being level doesn’t make a hill of beans of difference, but when making a long-range shot, a level reticle can ensure more accurate shots. I did find the electronic reticle level also made it easier when mounting the scope. The reality is I am never on level ground in the field nor have the chance to make a perfectly level shot unless I’m on a bench or using a bipod. For long shots, I turned the illumination off.
The CDS-ZL2 ZeroLock2 turrets provide two revolutions of elevation adjustment and provide against accidental dial movement with the zero-lock button. This is a nice feature if you fuss with your dials. I usually zero the scope and it stays that way. I use the sub tensions in the reticle to compensate for elevation or the wind.
Additional Patrol 6HD 1-6×24 Features
- Waterproof and fogproof
- 1-6 optical zoom range with a true 1x
- Low-profile design and considered ultra-lightweight
- Excellent light transmission with glare reduction coatings for optimal performance in challenging lighting conditions
- Hydrophobic lens coating that sheds dirt and water easily
- Removable throw lever
One Scope and Two Rifles — Same Results
I ran the Patrol 6HD on two ARs, a Springfield Armory Saint ATC, which is a heavy AR platform intentionally designed for long range, and a SAINT Victor more suited for 3-Gun competition, home defense and hunting. On the ATC, the Leupold helped me shoot sub-MOA groups as small as .34”.
Is it ideal for long-range shooting? Nope. There are better optics for long range, but the scope worked well and proved it could reach out when needed. I did shoot the box to test out the turrets and they are very repeatable. The clicks of the turrets were positive with no mushiness and me wondering if that was a click or not. Where the Patrol 6HD thrived is on the SAINT Victor.
Closing Shots on the Leupold Patrol 6HD
Close shots were fast using the illuminated reticle. Real fast. Even in the bright North Carolina sun, the horseshoe/dot set-up was easy to acquire and fast to deploy. I shot at paper plates at 25 yards, and let’s just say don’t use those plates to hold food because it will leak right through. Crank up the magnification, and shots out to 100 yards were chip shots. At 100 yards, I switched off the illumination and tested the sub tensions to see if the holes printed where they are supposed to. And, yes, I used 62-grain FMJ bullets clocked at 2,810 fps.
The magic of an LPVO scope is its ability to be used from close to medium and even long range. The versatility of the Leupold Patrol 6HD 1-6x24mm riflescope is its compact footprint and light weight. The CM-R2 reticle is fast and the view is super clear and crisp. Looks like a winner to me!
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