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Last Updated: October 25, 2020
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
Parallax Setting: 50 yards+
Airgun rated: No
Illuminated Reticle: No
Mounting Rings Included: No
Best Uses: Big Game Hunting, Varmint Hunting, Target Shooting
Vortex Viper HS Long Range Scope Review
The 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 a 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 below.
- 30 mm tube body
- Zero reset turret
- Fiber optic radius bar
- Parallax side focus
Viper 4-16X50 HS LR Rifle Scope Q&A:
What does the HS stand for?
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.
What is different about the HS line and the standard Viper line?
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 30mm tube body, zero reset turrets, exposed tactical elevation turret, and a fiber optic radius bar.
Can this rifle scope be used for close range hunting?
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.
What type of reticle does the Viper HS Long Range scope have?
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.
Are there any other reticles available with this model?
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.
- A subset of the Viper HS line, the Viper HS LR (Hunting & Shooting Long Range) 4-16x50 Second Focal Plane scope is perfect for when you need to extend your shooting range...
- The Dead-Hold BDC reticle is good for any hunting or shooting at varying ranges where estimating hold-over would be a concern.
What focal plane is this Viper 4-16X50 HS LR scope in?
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.
Does the Vortex Viper 4 come with any accessories?
Yes! All Vortex rifle scopes come 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.
Is it compact and portable for hunting and stalking?
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 50mm 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 42mm 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.
- 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
Our Verdict on the Vortex Viper HS 4 Scope
According to the bull's-eye, you'll spend less money popping off rounds at the range because the Vortex Viper 4-16X50 HS is spot on. It has some very premium features for the lowest cost possible. This rifle scope is well under $1000, and it still sports some tripe zero digit perks. However, while we did mention it's heavy, it's not unreasonable for its optical specs and features.
The Vortex Viper PST 6-24X50 has further reach, but it's barely heavier than the Viper 4-16X50. It will cost a little more for the PST version, but if you want the illuminated reticle, the extra power range, and the super-cool reticle, then the Viper PST might be for you - check it out and see.
Spending approximately $600 is a lot of money whether it's going to a sport optic or food on the table. However, you could spend what you have saved up on the Nikon Prostaff 7 4-16X42 rifle scope. You'll still be getting the side focus, zero reset turret, and 30mm tube body, but you will have to go without Vortex's XD glass, Precision-Glide Erector System, and their unparalleled VIP warranty.
Vortex is an American household name when optics are a passion shared in the home. Who would you want to trust buying a scope from? We think a brand that loves, lives, and breathes hunting just as much as you. That would be Vortex!