Lost and Found Rifles: Proof Optics Can Outlast Their Guns

With so much to look at on the floor of SHOT Show, it's hard for something to stand out, but one display set up by Leupold was a striking testament to the durability of the company's rifle scopes. Below are several rifles that had been lost in the field, where they remained, some for years, until they were eventually found. The rifles are mostly hunks of oxidized metal mounted to cracked and weatherbeaten blocks of wood—but they all have something else in common—the Leupold scope mounted on each still functions.

3-1/2 Year Endurance Test in Alaska

“A moose hunter lost this rifle after falling into a stream in Alaska’s Copper River Delta. The rifle was found in a beaver dam 3-1/2 years later by a friend hunting the same unit. The Gold Ring scope
“A moose hunter lost this rifle after falling into a stream in Alaska’s Copper River Delta. The rifle was found in a beaver dam 3-1/2 years later by a friend hunting the same unit. The Gold Ring scope performs as good as the day it was made.”author photo
3-1/2 Year Endurance Test in Alaska
A closer look at the action.author photo

Survival at 4,000 ft. For 11 Years in Idaho

“This Weatherby Mark V was found at 4,000 ft. elevation and brought into a sporting goods store where it was later identified by the owner as the rifle he had lost on a hunting trip 11 years earlier.
“This Weatherby Mark V was found at 4,000 ft. elevation and brought into a sporting goods store where it was later identified by the owner as the rifle he had lost on a hunting trip 11 years earlier. The Leupold 2-7 scope is fog-free and fully functional.”author photo
Survival at 4,000 ft. For 11 Years in Idaho
A better shot of the action.author photo

8 Months and 4.5 Miles Of the Toughest White Water in the Northwest

“A fall rafting accident claimed this rifle in Oregon’s Grande Ronde River. It was found eight months later and 4.5 miles downstream. The Vari-X II scope is as functional as the day it left the factor
“A fall rafting accident claimed this rifle in Oregon’s Grande Ronde River. It was found eight months later and 4.5 miles downstream. The Vari-X II scope is as functional as the day it left the factory.”author photo
A closer shot of the action.
A closer shot of the action.author photo

Over 2 Years In A Georgia Ground Blind

“This Ruger 77 was found in a ground blind in southern Georgia by a hunter who had hunted out of the same blind two years earlier. Who the original gun owner was may never be known, but what is known,
“This Ruger 77 was found in a ground blind in southern Georgia by a hunter who had hunted out of the same blind two years earlier. Who the original gun owner was may never be known, but what is known, is that the 3-9 Leupold still works flawlessly.”author photo
Over 2 Years In A Georgia Ground Blind
A better shot of the action and scope.author photo