The Leatherwood Hi-Lux M-1000 has always been an easy scope to recommend to the longer-range shooter who just wants to get zeroed in and on-target without having to manually compensate for bullet drop or make a rough estimate using a compensating reticle. And now the scope just got better, and can be customized to work with just about any centerfire cartridge, from .223 Remington to .50 BMG.
Designed around the ART, or Auto-Ranging and Trajectory system, the M-1000 automatically adjusts itself depending on what level of magnification you’re using. Once you have set a bullet drop rate, when you zoom in, the scope cams, lowering the reticle relative to your target automatically. All you do is zoom in and make sure your target is scaled to the “no math” Mil-dot reticle.
From the product page: “All the shooter has to do is place the reticle on the target, zoom in to FRAME an area of known size (i.e. the 18-inch height of a buck’s chest cavity), AIM, and squeeze the trigger to SHOOT. It all takes less than 5 seconds, and the shooter’s eye never leaves the scope! When the shooter frames an 18-inch or 1 meter target using the brackets on the reticle, the scope will automatically range the target and compensate for bullet trajectory for distances of 250 to 1,000 meters. This means no holdover or guesswork.”
The updated M-1000 has a reinforced integral mount for better recoil resistance and to be all-around stronger and more solid, particularly when shooting with the higher-energy loads. The scope can be mounted to any Picatinny or Weaver rail. It can still be manually adjusted for windage and elevation, and has a fast-focusing eyepiece that’s helpful if multiple shooters intend to share the rifle.
The multi-dial system can be pre-set for four different loads or even rifles. The integral mount will hold its zero if it’s installed correctly before sighting in, so you can move it from rifle to rifle.
The large 44mm objective lens and multicoated glass ensures a high degree of light transmission, necessary for long-range shooting and shooting when lighting isn’t ideal. The “DiamondTUFF14” lens coating also provides a certain amount of scratch resistance.
About the only drawback to the M-1000 is that it’s on the heavy side at 25 ounces. That does include the scope mount, so take that into consideration when making any comparisons. Other specifications are that it’s 13 inches long and requires three inches of eye relief.
Like all Leatherwood Hi-Lux scopes, the M-1000 is surprisingly affordable for being a quality, feature-rich optic. This scope, even with the upgrades, has an MSRP of $460 and can often be found for less than $400. It also comes with a lifetime warranty.
The original Leatherwood 3-9x40mm ART scope was developed for the U.S. Army for the M21 Sniper Weapon System, designed around Rock Island Arsenal National Match M14s, which is still in limited service to this day. If you’re looking for a battle-proven, sniper-grade optic but are working on a limited budget, you owe it to yourself to check out the updated M-1000 ART scope.
Leatherwood also offers a more powerful version, the M-1200, which is a 6-24x50mm scope. It’s a little longer and a hair heavier, but still comes in under $600.
Photo credit David Fortier/Shotgun News.