There are a lot of people outside of tactical operations that like to have an LPVO on their weapon system. What’s not to love?
Vortex, everyone’s favorite brand, offers LPVO scopes at competitive prices too.
If you’re hitting roadblocks due to model confusion, you should know that the Strike Eagle series was recently upgraded.
The latest release yet for the 1-8x24 model is the SE-1824-2 with the AR-BDC3 (MOA) reticle.
It’s different to its predecessor, so stay tuned to find out why the new Vortex is a high-ranking scope for us and other shooters.
What We Like: LPVO
What We Don’t Like: Illumination
Best Uses: Big Game Hunting, Small Game Hunting, Varmint Hunting, Target Shooting, Scouting, Close to Mid-Range, Light to Heavy Caliber Rifles
- Magnification: 1-8x
- Objective Diameter: 24mm
- Coatings: FMC
- FOV: 109-14.4 ft/100 yds
- Eye Relief: 3.5”
- Adjustments: ½ MOA
- Dimensions: 10”/17.6 ounces
Our Verdict: The Strike Eagle 1-8x is right within budget as a scope under $500. The newest models have been upgraded to improve its LPVO performance and has consequently gained a lot of attention. With Vortex quality, warranty, and price points, the Strike Eagle should be at the top of your shortlist.
Who is the Vortex Strike Eagle 1-8X24 AR-BDC3 Best Suited to?
Even though the Strike Eagle reticle is best suited to an AR-15, it can be used with other loads and rifles. Even though the Strike Eagle is excellent for CQB and tactical operations, it can be a great scope for close-range hunting. Even though the Strike Eagle may be more expensive than other LPVO scopes, it comes with an unbeatable warranty and Vortex quality.
Evidently, the Strike Eagle is a scope for all who desire red dot-like performance without giving up range. If you don’t think you’ll like the new reticle, just stick with a red dot for an AR-15.
How Does the Vortex Strike Eagle 1-8X24 AR-BDC3 Perform?
The upgraded Strike Eagles have made quite the impression with various shooting crowds. Many have ditched their inferior brand LPVOs and opted for the new models from Vortex. The most talked-about upgrade is the BDC3 reticle.
In all honesty, you either love it or you hate it. It’s certainly more cluttered than the BDC2 as there is so much more going on. It provides holdovers out to 650 yards, windage compensation, and a stadiametric rangefinder.
It has some decent weight at 17 oz (approx.), so it’s not your ultra-light setup, like the Leupold FX-II UltraLight, but is within standard weight limits with other LPVO scopes. True to Vortex standard, it’s shock, water, and fogproof. Even the lenses have been given Vortex’s special treatment that the older generation did not have.
The Strike Eagle is accurate and repeatable, has increased adjustment travel, and crisp, positive ½ MOA clicks. While the reticle has been calibrated for AR-15 5.56 ammunition, it sees action on multiple rifles and even crossbows.
What are you shooting with?
Features & Benefits
The Strike Eagle takes the LPVO to the max with its 1-8x magnification. With FMC (fully multi-coated) coatings with multiple layers on all air-to-glass surfaces, you have maximum light transmission, reduced flaring, and optimal clarity. As a side note, the predecessor Strike Eagle had XD (Extra-low Dispersion) glass, and the new one does not.
When you’re taking close-range fire at 1x and then aiming for targets beyond 200 yards, you need the type of optical quality that gets you there and beyond at maximum speed while maintaining accuracy.
For a 1-8x24 model, it has a pretty good FOV (field of view) that is competitive with alternatives. To add to the fast operation motif of an LPVO that the older model didn’t have is a power change throw lever. It’s not as impressive as the foldable throw levers included with the Bushnell AR Optics 1-6x24 scope but at least Vortex now offers it.
As an LPVO, it’s no stranger to CQB action but offers flexibility for longer range precision.
AR-BDC3 MOA Reticle
The AR-BDC3 reticle is quite different to the older AR-BDC2 reticle and is said by buyers to actually be a competitive alternative to the ACSS. While it still retains its glass-etched assembly and illumination, there is definitely more going on than what was previously offered.
The AR-BDC3 is an MOA SFP reticle with a 1 MOA center dot, 16.625 MOA center halo, bullet drop points out to 650 yards, and windage compensation in 5 mph increments. It’s calibrated for AR-15 5.56 loads. It also has a stadiametric rangefinder at the top of the view for rough ranging out to 600 yards.
Another addition to the AR-BDC reticle is the German-like crosshairs with sharp ends that never meet. It’s excellent for drawing your eye to the illuminated center for fast target acquisition. You also have the illuminated reticle to put you back on point especially in low contrast conditions like lowlight.
The Strike Eagle also saw upgrades to its build. While the 30 mm tube has always been a standard feature for the series, the new model sports a more waterproof IPX7 rating. It remains shockproof and fogproof as always.
The objective lens on the new model has been coated in ArmorTek for exterior protection from scratches, dust, dirt, oil – you name it.
The scope is a one-piece tube made from aircraft-grade aluminum with a matte anodized finish. Tough and rugged is an inherent benefit of the Strike Eagle scope.
New Generation of Strike Eagles
Not everyone was stoked about the older generation of Strike Eagle scopes even though it was incredibly popular. When Vortex first started dabbling with LPVO scopes, some threw up raised eyebrows and opted for an alternative elsewhere. However, Vortex has earned back the skeptics with their new generation of Strike Eagle scopes.
The newer models obviously sport the new AR-BDC3 reticle that seems to be a hit with the crowd. Many have put this on various setups from AR-10, .308, Ruger 350 Legends, crossbows, and more. Needless to say, the new reticle works for many.
While the scope saw a one ounce weight gain, it’s not for nothing. Waterproofing has been upgraded, ArmorTek coatings were added, a throw lever built in, and tube adjustment travel was increased to add another 40 MOA to both elevation and windage for a total of 140 MOA.
No longer can skeptics say that Vortex tried because Vortex nailed it.
Some may find that reticle illumination is not as bright as they may have expected. In bright light conditions, it may wash out. Fortunately, the reticle is easily visible even without illumination because it’s glass-etched.
Another nit-picky thing about it is that it does not feature incremental illumination “off” positions between the 11 brightness power settings. You will need to dial it all the way down to shut it off.
The Strike Eagle scope comes with a power throw lever, flip caps, lens cloth, and a CR2032 battery to power the illuminated reticle.
Vortex made the Strike Eagle shockproof. They say that it can handle recoil from 50 Beowulf and even larger. Its good eye relief of 3.5” makes it suitable for multiple rifles, but at high power, the eyebox may become tight. You must take this into account when mounting to kicker rifles as you don’t want to creep too far forward and finally know it’s like to be kissed by a scope.
The Strike Eagle 1-8x has the AR-BDC3 reticle that is in the second focal plane. It does not change size throughout magnification and holdovers are accurate at max power. Recently Vortex released their FFP Strike Eagle which we field tested for ourselves.
There are multiple changes between the new models even though they are roughly the same in size. The major upgrades are optical. The new model has ArmorTek, the AR-BDC3 reticle, beefed-up weatherproofing, 40 MOA more adjustment travel, and a built-in throw lever.
Yes, the Strike Eagle is covered under Vortex’s VIP Warranty that is fully transferable, no proof of purchase is required, and it’s covered for a lifetime – no limitations.
Vortex has a reputation of providing great glass quality for the money. While scopes at this price point just do not provide true 1x performance, the Strike Eagle does a fantastic job. It’s perfectly suited to AR platforms and is very, very accurate.
Whether you’re protecting home and family, are a range hack, or you’re hunting, the Strike Eagle is made to adapt to the situation. Pull your lever in close for point-blank shooting and throw it out for long-range fun. It’s what the Strike Eagle was made for.
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Simon is an avid outdoor enthusiast and the owner of Target Tamers. He is passionate about bringing you the most up to date, accurate & understandable information on sports optics of all kinds and for all applications. When not glassing the local wildlife, you can find him in the garden with his German Shepherd.