Leupold is a very popular brand that is mostly known for their long range, variable, and fixed power optics. Leupold has designed a wide variety of different optics that have served for years with various branches of the military. Leupold provided the scopes for the United States Marine Corps’ scout snipers. Most firearm enthusiasts know that Leupold produces excellent long range optics, but many do not realize they also manufacture a variety of short-range tactical optics for carbines, shotguns, and rifles.
The HAMR is one such optic. The HAMR is a fixed four power optic with a 24 mm objective lens. The HAMR is designed specifically for carbines, most notably the M4 and civilian variants of the weapon. What makes the optic somewhat unusual and unique is the addition of the Leupold Delta point, that rides on top of the optic. The Delta is a miniature red dot optic that uses a red triangle as it reticle.
Unboxing & First Impression
I love testing carbine scopes, and I’ve always been a Leupold fan, so I was quite excited when the Leupold box showed up in the mailbox. The box is standard, includes the manual, registration card, warranty info, small Allen wrenches, a lens cloth, and, of course, the optic. The optic itself is nice and hefty and weigh right around 15 ounces. The optic made from 6061-T-6 aircraft grade aluminum, which is a durable, long lasting, quality material.
The Delta Point is completely removable from the optic if you want to shave weight and are willing to sacrifice versatility. The Delta Point is covered with a metal shroud for increased protection. This is actually well thought out since users may get drawn into the HAMR and forget the RMR is there, which may lead the to bang the Delta Point off an obstacle. Both optics are illuminated, but this where I met the first downside to the optic. Since the Delta Point and HAMR are separate optics they use separate batteries. Both use the coin style CR 2032 Lithium batteries, so logistics is simplified. I would have preferred to see the Delta Point utilize fiber optics like Trijicon RMR and be battery free, and just feed the HAMR batteries. As it sits now you’ll have to keep both optics on during tactical environments.
The HAMR itself is an aggressive, good-looking optic, and comes ready to be mounted. The reticle can be illuminated, but is also etched into the glass, so it can still be used if the battery dies. The Delta Point will require a battery for operation. The illumination control for the HAMR is located on the right-hand side of the optic and has 7 different brightness levels. The first two are for low, and are compatible with night vision, and the other 5 are for daylight ops.
One of my favorite features is the addition of an off switch between each illumination setting. So if you user prefers a brightness level of 5, he or she can go one forward, or one backward and turn the optic off. The next time they use it they can turn the optic back on at their desired setting instantly.
The HAMR mounts on any standard pic rail and locks down nice and tight. The optic actually has a generous eye box, and a nice level of eye relief. The eye relief is 2.7 inches, which is very handy when doing room to room training or fighting, it allows the operator room to rapidly move the weapon. In urban environments, you are constantly scanning roofs, and windows for different story buildings, and without a generous eye relief the scope become dangerously close to the eye when aiming upwards.
How HAMR Performs On the Range?
Mounting and zeroing was easy as can be. The elevation and windage is where you expect them to be. The increments of each click are a ⅓ MOA, and turn easy. If you don’t know how to zero an optic the manual does provide an easy way to do so.
The first stage of testing was general accuracy. We used a S&W M&P 15, with the classic ‘green tip’ 62-grain ammo. The optic features a bullet drop compensator that is designed for this round. The optic features a drop meter out to an optimistic nine hundred meters. Nine hundred is quite a shot for a carbine, but the scale is incredibly handy for the more realistic four hundred meter shots we were taking. We rang a 12-inch steel plate at 400 without much difficulty from the prone positions and had good luck in the kneeling as well. I won’t mention the standing, not because of the optic, but because I need to work on my off hand shooting.
The Reticle also has a windage scale, that represents 5, 10, and 15 miles per hour wind calls. The main reticle is a circle with a dot in the middle. The dot is to be used at 200 hundred meters. Anything less and the shooter fills the circle with the target and pulls the trigger.
The next stage was close range shooting from 25 yards to 7 yards. Here we used both the Delta point and the HAMR, working on transitions as we moved from cover to closer targets. With two eyes open the HAMR works like an ACOG, and it’s 4 power magnification isn’t an issue. The transition from HAMR to Delta Point was easy, we just looked up. However, we found the transition from Delta Point to HAMR was slower because we had to establish a new cheek weld.
Before the day was over we found that the best way to transition was to rotate the weapon slightly to the left and this brought the Delta Point into view, and we retained our cheek weld. Again this does require both eyes to be opened to effectively work. If you aren’t a fan of the Bindon aiming concept, you’ll run into the same issues we did.
The Delta point is extremely easy to use and makes short range engagements a breeze. The big triangle was easy to get on target, and moving from target to target was simple. The Delta was nice and bright, and eye-catching, with the shroud acting as a sun guard.
Summing It All Up
+ The lenses were crystal clear as you’d expect from Leupold, and everything clicked, rotated and worked well. The optic is, of course, durable and proofed for water, shock and fog.
– The optic is somewhat heavy, no doubt due to the addition of the Delta point and rigid construction. At almost 15 ounces, it’s heavier than the ACOG TA 33 by nearly 5 ounces.
+/- The optic’s longer eye relief may be a turnoff for those who like to really get on the scope, but I see it as an excellent addition.
– Another issue is the use of two batteries, and how one may drain faster than the other. You’ll need to keep a close eye on both batteries, or swap them both at the same time.
Outside of those few things, the Leupold HAMR is an interesting optic, especially for those looking for a tactical optic, or an optic for 3 gun competition.