There were two things glaringly wrong with my interpretation of the Mk12. First, the barrel is completely wrong. It should be an 18” Douglas barrel, but I’ve decided to keep the 20” Colt HBAR because it’s an excellent barrel and produces decent groups.
The second is the glass. I’ve mentioned this before, that I can’t in good conscience pay $1,900 for obsolete glass in the form of a second focal plane Leupold Mark 4 with a mildot reticle and MOA adjustments. I’ve been using a Leupold VX-R Patrol 3-9x40mm for a while, which has a mil TMR reticle with .1 mil adjustments, but is in the second focal plane. The reason I got it was because it was less than half the price of a Mark 4, and though it’s SFP, it’s mil/mil, it has a similar profile to the Mark 4, and has a 30mm main tube. And since it had mil adjustments, I could dial instead of using TMR reticle at a one magnification.
But as the folks on AR15.com have been quick to point out, it is not even close to being clone correct. The turrets and markings appear quite different from a Mark 4, but for the uninformed like myself, it was good enough. I was happy with my VX-R Patrol, but it had always been gnawing at the back of my head that it wasn’t clone correct and I should get another Mark 4 so I decided to start looking. I figured ok, if I find one for cheap, as cheap as my Patrol, I could justify it in the name of clone correctness, but that was not to be. Lever Arms had a Mark 4 2.5-8x36mm illuminated TMR with M3 turrets, but they wanted $1,900. Apparently Leupold ceased production of the Mark 4 for civilian sales so I’ve heard that they will be even harder to find in the future.
But luck was with me and I stumbled on a deal for a Mark 4 3.5-10x40mm. It had the TMR reticle, M3 turrets with MOA adjustments, but interestingly enough, the reticle was in the first focal plane. I didn’t even know the Mark 4 had an FFP option, though when I started searching for these, it seemed a bit rare. The price was decent and the scope was brand new so I grabbed it and hoped it wasn’t a misprint. I wasn’t worried about the adjustments because I could always send it back to Leupold to replace the turrets to be in mil adjustments.
Anyway, this isn’t my first Mark 4, I had one years ago for another rifle, but ended up replacing it with the Bushnell Elite Tactical DMR 3.5-21x50 first focal plane scope with the TReMoR2 reticle. The scope came packaged like my first Mark 4, reinforced with foam, instructions, an Allen key, a Leupold sticker and flip caps that appear to look the same as Butler Creek, except are marked Leupold.
The adjustments are in 1 moa increments, but I’ll look into getting the turrets converted to mils. I contacted Korth Group and they quoted $124 per turret and I think I’ll probably do that one day. I noticed the turret was also marked 308 win 168gr. Around the turret itself, there are secondary markings indicating where to dial for 100 yrds, 200 yrds and so forth. After seeing this, I was almost tempted to through this onto my 700p.
I’ve edited out the serial number, but I also noticed the scope wasn’t stamped made in the USA either. I guess I can always verify with Leupold the authenticity of this scope, but I’m pretty sure it’s real.
Marked in black lettering are the words Front Focal
A side by side comparison with the VX-R Patrol on the left and the Mark 4 on the right. The Mark 4 is slightly longer.
Although both scopes share similar overall profiles, the turrets is what really gives it away, and to the clone builder, this was easy to spot.
I found it interesting that the magnification was printed on the adjustment knob on the Mark 4, where it was opposite on the Patrol
After mounting the scope in the ARMS 22 rings, there was still something off and I couldn't quite place it. I know there was no illumination dial as this model did not come with illumination, but apparently that's acceptable according to the folks on ARF. I couldn't quite place what was wrong until I looked at the rifle from the side. Then it hit me, the scope was longer than what I was used to looking at. Then I realized that almost all of the pics of the Mk12 Mod 1 that I had showed the 2.5-8x36mm on the Mod 1, where it was mostly the Mod 0 that used the 3.5-10x40mm. I have a bad feeling that I will be scanning the interwebz for a cheap 2.5-8x36mm sometime in the future....
Apologies for the crappy pics of the glass itself. I haven't had the chance to get the scope outside for some clear shots. Anyway, the FFP Mark 4 at 3.5x mag from about 10m
The SFP VX-R Patrol from the same distance.
The FFP Mark 4 at 3.5x mag, the fire hydrant is about 100m away. Note that because it is FFP, the reticle is tiny at 3.5x mag.
The SFP VX-R Patrol at 3x mag.
The FFP Mark 4 at 10x mag.
The SFP VX-R Patrol at 9x Mag. I'm sure most people reading this will already know the difference between FFP and SFP, but ou can clearly see that with the SFP scope, the reticle does not change size no matter the magnification. The reticle is also a lot finer on the FFP scope, but this might have something to do with the the cost of the Mark 4 versus the VX-R Patrol.
Anyway, it's still not perfect, but at least it sort of looks right compared to when I had the VX-R Patrol on there. I still haven't even shot this rifle in it's current configuration. I've only shot the barrel when it was in the PWS form, so I'll have to get out one of these days and test her out. As far as appearance of the rifle is concerned, it's definitely getting there. Lets see if my OCD will allow me to keep this Mark 4, lol!
Item Condition New
Scope Weight: 19.5 oz.
Scope Length: 13.5"
Magnification Range: 3.5-10x
Scope Objective Diameter: 40 mm
Scope Tube Size / Mount: 30 mm
Scope Turret Adjustment: 1/2 MOA - windage / 1 MOA - elevation
Reticle Position: First
Field of View: 29.9' - 11' @ 100 yds.
Eye Relief: 4.7" - 3.4"
Illuminated Reticle: no
Scope Finish: matte black
Some info on the clone correct scope for the Mk12 I found on AR15.com:
Have been trying to gather a little information from a contact at Leupold with regards the scopes, the marked TS-30, TS-30 A2 and subsequent models supplied to the military under contract which ther has been 11 or 12.
Obviously the TS-30 is a vari-x scope which was a 3-9x36 mil-dot scope with a M3 turret (non-illuminated). At this time, I don't have any nsn number for this scope or know if it was even assigned one or the number that Leupold actually manufactured and sold.
The TS-30 A2 was made and sold in the 2002, 2003 timeframe, again no nsn number or numbers sold. Nearly all pictured have a k serial number for 2002.
These were the only scopes that were actually marked in this way and sold to the military, basically pre-mark 4 for these models.
The TS-30 became model 57075, the Mark 4 3-9x36 MR/T M3 non-illuminated mil-dot reticle (but with significant design changes)
The TS-30 A2 became model # 57055 the Mark 4 3-9x36 MR/T M3 illuminated mil-dot reticle (no change in design)
Leupold primarily supplied model number 57055 in the 2003-2006 timeframe for military contracts
In 2006, Leupold redesigned the previous years models and introduced the Mark 4 2.5-8x36 and the TMR reticle
The following scope model was supplied by Leupold under contract in the following years
Model # 60150 the Mark 4 2.5-8x36 M2 illuminated mil-dot
Leupold continued to supply this scope model in contracts until approximately 2010 at which time it was redesigned/small changes were made and it became
Model # 67920 the Mark 4 2.5-8x36 MR/T M2 illuminated mil-dot.
Once again in 2012, the scope was redesigned/small changes made and it became
Model #112633 the Mark 4 2.5-8x36 MR/T M2 illuminated TMR.
Model numbers 60150, 67920 and 112633 have all at one time or another been NSN 1005-01-562-0953 which was created in 03/08.
So I suppose at this stage if you have either model #'s 57055, 60150, 67920 or 112633 you would be clone correct. I did get a few contract numbers to look up, if I gather anything more I will put it out there.