Vortex Optics Rifle Scope Reviews: Be Ready to Strike with a Viper

If you’ve found this page, then you’re a no-fuss, practical kinda guy, or gal, looking for a new long range rifle scope.

If you don’t have confidence in your ability to make an ethical long range shot – this review isn’t for you. For the rest of you, you’re not going to settle for anything but the best, and there’s no better place to start your scope probing anywhere else than with the best Vortex rifle scope reviews around.

From illuminated and BDC reticles to zero-reset turrets and 30 mm tubes, the best of the best are reviewed right here.

Who are Vortex?

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, everybody knows about Vortex. The American owned, veteran owned, and family owned business has been around for 30 years.

Vortex is a leader in the optics industry and competitively takes on other world-leading brands like Leupold and NightForce with every rifle scope they dish out. Not only are their optics excellent, the company functions on a “customer first” principle.

With their ethical principles and quality optics, you know you can trust them to be your set of eyes with every long range shot you take out there in the field.

Vortex Rifle Scope Reviews

This review covers just a few of the best Vortex rifle scopes for hunting. I’m talking about 30 mm tube bodies, an illuminated reticle, BDC reticles, and of course, some extreme magnification for those long distance shots.

While deer hunters are familiar and confident with distances within 200 yards, what do you do if you get the chance of a lifetime to take down the trophy that just strolled into the glade 400 yards from you? Let the following Vortex scopes answer that question for you.

Vortex Optics Viper 4-16X50 HS Long Range Review

vortex-optics-viper-4-16x50-hs-long-rangeThe Vortex Optics Viper 4-16X50 HS LR rifle scope is a favorite for hunters and shooters alike. Even though it has a hefty cost at around $600, it’s the “go-to” and “must-have” for a scope of this quality in this price range for extreme distances.

This particular model rifle scope was picked for this review because it’s proved its worth among real life hunters. The extra internal scope adjustments, the BDC and SFP reticle, and super HS LR capabilities is what’s given it its mighty reviews across the board.

I have to confess that it was a close call between this one and the Viper 4-16X50 HS LR FFP with the XLR MOA reticle. Unfortunately, that model has now recently been discontinued.

But, don’t despair. There are over 80 people chiming in on the Vortex website about this Viper HS LR rifle scope. Are you going to be one of them?

But, wait. I know what you’re thinking. Are you lost in the glossary sea of rifle scope terminology? Well, you’ll have HS, LR, FFP, and everything you need translated in the Q&A to help you make the most of Vortex rifle scope reviews.

Viper 4-16X50 HS LR Rifle Scope Q&A:

Q. What does the HS stand for?

A. The Viper HS rifle scope line is made for hunters in mind. The HS of the Viper series is an acronym for Hunting Shooting rifle scopes. While Vortex makes some excellent scopes for tactical use, the Viper HS series is being outfitted to suit the hunter in the open plains. Those extreme long range (LR) shots are not off limits anymore.

Q. What is different about the HS line and the standard Viper line?

A. The Vortex Optics HS line is intended to replace the regular Viper series. The Viper series had 1 inch tube bodies and a basic adjustment system. The HS line is better suited for hunters that want the 30 mm tube body, zero reset turrets, exposed tactical elevation turret, and a fiber optic radius bar.

Q. Can this rifle scope be used for close range hunting?

A. This Vortex 4-16X50 HS LR rifle scope is made for long range hunting. It’s intended for open plains and vast expanses where you’ll need precision to make that ethical and well-placed shot at 200 yards, plus some. While a lot of users of this scope typically make their long range shots in the 400-900 range, they say it has the ability to get you out past 1000 yards.

If you’re hunting sub-200 yard distances, you might want to consider one with less magnification range, such as the Viper HS 2.5-10X44 model.

Q. What type of reticle does the Viper HS Long Range scope have?

A. This particular Viper 4-16X50 rifle scope has the Dead-Hold BDC (Bullet Drop Compensation) reticle that can be handy in a jiffy. The duplex type reticle has stadia or hash mark lines that cross over the cross hairs at specific intervals that will help you adjust for bullet drop at known distances.

Once you’ve zeroed your scope and rifle, you can use the downloaded scope adjustment chart provided by Vortex to discover your holds.

Q. Are there any other reticles available with this model?

A. No. To begin with, in the Vortex HS Long Range line, the recently discontinued 4-16X44 model was the only other rifle scope to join the 4-16X50 with the Dead-Hold BDC reticle. The only other available Viper HS LR model is the 6-24X50 FFP, and it has the XLR-1 hashmarked MOA reticle.

The XLR MOA reticle is a more intricate ballistic reticle that many find very useful. It can determine ranges, holdovers, windage, and even basic moving lead corrections.

Q. What focal plane is this Viper 4-16X50 HS LR scope in?

A. The Viper 4-16X50 HS LR rifle scope has its BDC reticle in the second focal plane (SFP), the most common design that hunters and shooters are familiar with. Sub-tension will be constantly changing as the magnification power changes.

This can be very helpful for precise kill zone strikes, especially at very long distances, even though you have to set your magnification setting first before being able to efficiently use the BDC reticle. The one other available scope in the HS LR series is the 6-24X50 scope, and it has a FFP (First Focal Plane) reticle.

Q. Does the Viper Vortex come with any accessories?

A. Yes! Vortex hunting scopes comes with a lens cloth, 4 inch sun shade, and protective lens caps. While the sun shade and caps are pretty standard accessories, you should pretty much always expect to see them when you’re spending this kind of money.

Q. Is it compact and portable for hunting and stalking?

A. The Viper Vortex 4-16X50 weighs in at a whopping 21.4 ounces. That’s actually not as light-weight as other hunting rifle scopes on the market, but you have to remember you’re carrying around more glass. You’ve got a 50 mm objective bell that means more weight.

There are lighter scopes out there in the 11 to 13 ounce range, but you’d be looking at an objective bell in the 36 to 42 mm range. If you’re concerned about the weight of the scope, plus other weight factors like your rifle and any night vision mounting accessories, the heavy 21 ounces might be the deal-breaker for you.

If you’re wanting maximum low-light light transmission from a single scope, then do some bicep curls and toughen up.

Vortex Optics Viper 4-16X50 HS Long Range Specs:

  • Magnification: 4-16X
  • Power Variability: Variable
  • Objective Diameter: 50 mm
  • Length/Weight/Tube Diameter: 13.7 inches/21.4 ounces/30 mm
  • Field of View: 7.4 – 27.4 feet/100 yards
  • Eye Relief/Exit Pupil: 4 inches/3.12 – 12.5 mm
  • Reticle: Dead-Hold BDC
  • Adjustment Info: 1/4 MOA windage/1/2 MOA elevation/Click
  • Optics Coatings: Fully Multi-Coated
  • Finish: Black Matte
  • Waterproof/Shockproof: Yes/Yes
  • Parallax Setting: 50 yards+
  • Airgun rated: No
  • Illuminated Reticle: No
  • Mounting Rings Included: No

Noteworthy Features:

  • Second Focal Plane reticle for minimal subtension qualities
  • Fast focus eyepiece for speedy target acquisition
  • Available in Vortex’s Dead-Hold BDC or XLR-1 MOA ballistic reticle for holdover points from any known distance
  • Extra Low Dispersion (XD) glass with XR fully multi-coated lens for excellent color resolution and fidelity
  • Rugged construction, Argon gas, and O ring seals ensure Viper scopes are waterproof, fog proof, and shock proof
  • 1/4 MOA positive clicks for windage and 1/2 MOA clicks for elevation adjustments, resettable to zero with exposed elevation turret
  • Customizable Rotational Stop (CRS) for easy zero-reset turrets to get back to your original zero
  • Precision-Glide Erector System for super smooth power transition in any hunting condition
  • Backed by Vortex’s no question’s asked warranty

Rating:

Check Lowest Price on Amazon

Vortex Optics Viper PST 6-24X50 FFP Review

vortex-optics-viper-pst-6-24x50-ffpEvery letter in this model name means something to the hunter who wants to fill his tag this season. You see that PST up there? That stands for Precision Shooting Tactical. Self-explanatory right? Well, in case you don’t get it, it means this scope is outfitted with the best of the best in glass, reticle design, construction, and internal mechanism systems.

This model has a solid rating with over several dozen reviewers buzzing about this specific scope. In the world of ratings, that’s quite difficult to beat. And, by the looks of it, it seems like it will continue to keep this upward trend for a long time to come.

This Viper PST 6-24X50 FFP rifle scope was picked because it not only had an excellent rating, but because it also garnered a fantastic rating of 4.9 stars out of 5 on the Vortex review page – with over 340 reviews. With the Viper’s distinctive features, it would have been a crime to not mention this scope here.

While it seems to be more suited for tactical use, there are some qualities and features that earn this particular model its own 500 words.. or so. Below in the Q&A is everything you need to know about the tactical scope that hits a home run with hunters.

Viper PST 6-24X50 FFP Rifle Scope Q&A:

Q. What is FFP?

A. The FFP stands for First Focal Plane. This means the cross hair will increase in size as the target gets larger – as the magnification power increases. Sub-tension (the surface area of your target that is covered by the cross hairs) will remain the same.

It also means that hunters in high-stress situations don’t have to remember what magnification to set their scope at to appropriately use the holdover data.

Q. How does it perform in low light conditions?

A. The Viper PST rifle scope has a few things going for it that makes it a great low light optics tool. If you like low light scopes then these Meopta riflescope reviews show off their excellent low light capability too. The first is the FFP that hunters are being drawn to more and more while they pursue higher end optics. A second point is the illuminated reticle that can be turned off and on with a single click of the illumination adjustment knob to help you get precise aiming no matter what time of day it is.

There are 10 different illumination intensities that you can choose from that will suit your needs best in low light conditions. It’s conveniently located at a 45 degree angle to the left of the eyepiece for easy adjustments while staying out the way of turrets and power settings.

Thirdly, there is a highly visible MAG-view fiber optic that marks your magnification settings for easy reference during low light conditions. For hunters, these features allow you to prowl during those hours that animals are the most active.

Q. Does this have a wire or glass etched reticle?

A. This Viper PST 6-24X50 FFP has a glass etched reticle that’s protected between two layers of XR fully multi-coated glass lens for ultimate reliability and durability. You know that this reticle won’t break, even under heavy and repeated recoil.

While tactical scopes are found to have the glass etched reticle more commonly than hunting scopes, this Viper PST is proving to be the extreme long distance hunter’s dream scope.

Q. Do I need a spotting scope too?

A. Whether or not you feel you need a spotting scope is a completely personal choice. While spotting scopes typically start their magnification power where this one ends, you’d have to ask yourself if your activities require one or not. The magnification range on this Viper 6-24X50 is on the higher end for a rifle scope.

If you’re an extreme long range hunter and not a professional sniper, this high powered scope should work doubly as well as a spotting scope for your hunting needs.

Q. Is this Vortex scope waterproof?

A. Yes! This Viper PST 6-24X50 is fully waterproof to ensure you don’t have to call it a day when the rain clouds roll in. They’re O-ring sealed to keep out water, debris, and dust to ensure maximum performance, even in the harshest conditions.

The inner tube is also purged with Argon gas to prevent fogging in a wide temperature range, and it’s also got a rugged and solid construction to withstand heavy recoil, shock, and impact.

Q. Are there any other rifle scopes in the Viper PST line?

A. There are several other models in the Viper PST line. Some of these include the 4-16X50 FFP, 2.5-10×32 FFP, 1-4X24, and the 2.5-10X44 models. They also come with various reticle options as well.

This model, the Viper PST 6-24X50 FFP with EBR-1 MOA reticle, is also available with other reticles including the EBR-1 MRAD, EBR-2C MOA, and the EBR-2C MRAD.

Q. How much does the Vortex Viper PST FFP cost?

A. The Viper PST FFP 6-24X50 can be found online for less than $1000! This price includes the premium features such as the glass etched reticle, extreme magnifying power, and everything else this scope has to boot. Right now, you can find Vortex rifle scopes for sale ranging in the $749 to $1149 range.

It’s extremely difficult to find a scope of this quality for the price. This street price for this tactical scope is what also makes it attractive to hunters and recreational shooters. While they look to the Viper line, they want something a little better than the standard Viper series, so they look to the Viper HS models.

Some go a little further and decide on the Viper HS LR models, just to give themselves that extra long distance ranging. And, others end up asking, “why stop and settle here?”. They’d rather pay just a little bit more, but not much, to go up a notch to the PST line. You also have the super nice, but super expensive, Razor series – if you want to drop more than two grand on one.

Q. Does it have a side focus?

A. You betcha! Since the Viper PST ranging capabilities start where parallax can become an issue, it comes with a side focus for parallax correction. The side focus knob is conveniently located on the left side of the scope which can be easily reached from shooting position.

Vortex Optics Viper PST 6-24X50 FFP Specs:

  • Magnification: 6-24X
  • Power Variability: Variable
  • Objective Diameter: 50 mm
  • Length/Weight/Tube Diameter: 15.5 inches/23.4 ounces/30 mm
  • Field of View: 4.2-17.8 feet/100 yards
  • Eye Relief/Exit Pupil: 4 inches/2.08 – 8.33 mm
  • Reticle: EBR-1 MOA
  • Adjustment Info: 1/4 MOA/Click
  • Optics Coatings: Fully Multi-Coated
  • Finish: Black Matte
  • Waterproof/Shockproof: Yes/Yes
  • Parallax Setting: 50 yards+
  • Airgun rated: No
  • Illuminated Reticle: Yes
  • Mounting Rings Included: No

Noteworthy Features:

  • First Focal Plane reticle for fast and efficient reticle use
  • Fast focus eyepiece for speedy target acquisition
  • Available in Vortex’s EBR-1 MOA ballistic reticle for holdover points from any known distance
  • Glass etched reticle protected within two XR fully multi-coated lens for superb reticle durability and reliability
  • Extra Low Dispersion (XD) glass with XR fully multi-coated lens for excellent color resolution and fidelity
  • Rugged construction, Argon gas, and O ring seals ensure Viper scopes are waterproof, fog proof, and shock proof
  • 1/4 MOA positive clicks for scope adjustments, resettable to zero with exposed turrets
  • Customizable Rotational Stop (CRS) for easy zero-reset turrets to get back to your original zero
  • Precision-Glide Erector System for super smooth power transition in any hunting condition
  • Illuminated reticle for precision when you need it most
  • MAG-view fiber optic for easy magnification referencing
  • Backed by Vortex’s no question’s asked warranty

Rating: Check Lowest Price on Amazon

Which is the Best Vortex Rifle Scope for You?

It seems that shooters and hunters are trending towards tactical scopes that are outfitted for hunting activities as well. The extra bonus features and long ranging is what extreme distance hunters are looking for in a rifle scope. If you want all the bells and whistles in a long range rifle scope, then the Viper PST 6-24X50 FFP might work perfectly for you.

On the other hand, for the no-nonsense hunter who wants what he needs to take down that trophy from any reasonable long distance, the Viper 4-16X50 HS Long Range can get it done. While it’s on the higher end of a price range for a lot of hunters, it seems Vortex has set themselves up as a brand worth saving more than a few pennies for. Some of their most popular optics vary in the $900 – $1500 price ranges.

If you’re looking for the Vortex name but you want something more economical and affordable, take a look at their available Diamondback rifle scope series. Their Crossfire series has currently been discontinued, but they can still be found at independent dealers across the nation.

Scopes for the Long Range Hunter

Many ethical hunters question the extreme power ranges of long range hunting rifle scopes, and it’s a legitimate concern. If there’s doubt in your ability and accessories to make a well-placed and ethical shot to take down your prey, pass up the shot and stalk on closer.

But, with a trusted and powerful-enough rifle and ammunition, confidence in your capabilities, a fully-detailed ballistic reticle, and high performing features in a rifle scope that’s made to do the job, a 400-600 yard shot, plus some, can be ethically done. For the long range hunter, Vortex can get you those extreme distances with precision, clarity, and ease.