You probably or most likely saw this news some where online recently and no doubt full on melt down has started. Grinding of teeth, threats of never buying a Leupold again and full on tinfoil hat claims.
All that aside, here is the official response from Leupold on the decision .
“Beginning in January 2017 we will no longer be accepting commercial orders for the current Mark 4 line of riflescopes. This legendary optic is battle proven and is instrumental to global military and law enforcement efforts. As such, we will continue to support government entities for the foreseeable future. Due to consumer demand and the popularity of this line for competition, hunting and sport, the Mark 4 riflescopes will continue to be available to the commercial market throughout the remainder of 2016. Rest assured, significant product evolutions are underway in the Leupold Tactical line-up that will continue the Mark 4 legacy of rugged, reliable service. These exciting advancements will be available to all, and details will be released as they develop.”
So what does this mean? Well, if you don’t buy Leupold MK4 tactical rifle optics. not much will change for you anyway. For the rest of us,it means basically an upgraded optic line for civilian use as a replacement. This kind of thing happens pretty often. Sure they are using the “the military has to come first” dodge, but they are probably being honest. Leupold has never been a company that has a problem with icky civilians using their “tactical ” optics. They have done things like this before over the years in a slightly different manner. A recent example is the company stopping using the VARI-X-I, II, III etc line and going to the then new “VX- etc line. Very little difference between the two lines but a name change was felt needed to mark the different small changes between them.
Life will go on. No one is trying to deny you a “sniper scope” and seems to not have any effect on getting the MK 6 and MK8, which most of us couldn’t easily afford anyhow.
I will miss the MK 4 availability myself though. It is the line of Leupold optics most used by myself and my very small circle of long range shooting friends here locally. I have been using the MK 4 rings and optics for a very long time and feel they are superb. Sure other brands are a bit better and cost a lot more, but there is very little you can not accomplish with the MK 4 line