It's probably safe to say that every hunter has seen their favorite rifle—and any optics or accessories that may be attached to it—take a tumble or two over the years. Time slows down and your heart stops as you watch your four-figure investment fall victim to gravity. Best case, you're back to the range to make sure you're still shooting straight. Worst case, you're on the way to the local gun shop.
And that's just what can happen when you leave the tools of your trade on a precarious rest. If you've spent enough time afield, you know that's far from the craziest thing that can happen. What happens when your scope is struck by lightning, or goes for a swim in the rapids?
Leupold knows. The company keeps a "Wall of Shame" at its Beaverton, Ore., headquarters, highlighting some of the most battered and bruised scopes they've ever received in the mail from their customers. Each has its own story, all of which you can read using the gallery of photos embedded above.
Leupold, mind you, builds some of the toughest products in the firearms industry. They're constructed with essentially every eventuality in mind—believe me, I've seen some of what they subject their optics to. But when a scope gets struck by lightning to drilled dead on by a .30-06 cartridge, there's only so much that can be done. This gallery isn't meant to make you think Leupold scopes are fragile—quite the contrary. It's really just meant to highlight some of the crazier things the company has seen in its century or so of business.
And, hey, if you do own a Leupold scope, you can feel safe knowing that you're covered by the company's lifetime guarantee.