Best Vortex Scope | Top Rated Vortex Scopes For AR15 & Hunting
Whether you are looking for the best Vortex scope for an AR15, the best Vortex scope for hunting, or the best Vortex scope for a 308, the following list will provide a plethora of great options.
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Vortex Optics sells scopes at every price point. You can get low-priced, but still quality optics. You can also spend a few more dollars for some of their top of the line scopes.
Best Vortex Scopes Reviewed
The Viper HST 6-24×50 VMR-1 weighs 22.6 ounces and has an overall length of 15.5 inches. This scope features a 30 mm tube that is machined from a single piece of aircraft grade aluminum. The rugged one-piece construction makes the scope shockproof. This helps protect it against large caliber rifle recoil or accidental drops.
The Viper HST is O-ring sealed making it waterproof. It is purged using argon gas, which makes it fog proof in a wide range of atmospheric conditions. The entire outside of the scope features a hard-anodized finish. This finish is a highly durable hard-coat that provides the scope with a low-glare matte surface that will help with concealment.
The Viper HST has three turrets. Two exposed tactical-style turrets allow for fast, accurate, and easily readable elevation and windage adjustments. The third turret is located on the left side of the scope. This turret allows the shooter to adjust the focus for an optimal sight picture while not having to remove both hands from their rifle. The Viper HST utilizes a VMA-1 (MOA) reticle.
This is a hashmark-based reticle that allows for accurate holds at extended ranges. The hashmarks can be used to estimate windage and elevation which can assist the shooter in adjusting their turrets to the correct range and wind conditions. This reticle is situated on the second focal plane.
A second focal plane reticle will remain the same size regardless of the magnification. The only disadvantage to a second focal plane reticle is that the shooter will need to know the range for each hashmark at each magnification. This scope has a generous eye relief of 4 inches. The eye relief and a fast focus eyepiece allow the shooter to get focused on their target quickly and easily.
The Viper HST has high quality glass like many of the other Vortex optics. This scope has extra-low dispersion (XD) glass. This glass increases resolution and color fidelity. Each of these features result in crisp, sharp images. The glass for this scope also has a proprietary coating that increases light transmission with multiple anti-reflective coatings on air-to-glass surfaces. This proprietary coating is known as XR coating. Each piece of glass in this scope features an ultra-hard, scratch-resistant coating that protects all of the exterior lenses from scratches, oil, and dirt. This coating is known as Armor Tek.
This scope is utilized for long range shooting but can be used on any rifle that requires a magnified optic to hit the target. The Viper HST possesses many features and these features place it at the top of the Vortex scope list. The next Vortex scope on this list is from the Crossfire series.
The second scope list is from their budget friendly Crossfire series. Although the Crossfire series is considered to be Vortex’s budget model, they possess many features that set them apart from competitors’ scopes.
The Crossfire II is constructed from one piece of aircraft grade aluminum. It weighs 20.6 ounces and has an overall length of 14.2 inches. The 1-inch tube makes it easy for any shooter to find quality scope rings. Like the Viper HST, this scope is waterproofed with O-ring seals. It is nitrogen gas purged so that it is fog proof no matter where you chose to use it. A hard-anodized coating makes this scope durable and helps keep it shockproof.
The Crossfire II features 2 capped turrets that prevent accidental adjustments. The downside to capped turrets is that they are not as easy to adjust as tactical-style turrets. These turrets will still maintain zero, but field adjustments are a bit more cumbersome. Although this scope lacks the side focus adjustment turret, it does have an adjustable objective to maintain focus at any given distance.
The Crossfire II has a fast focus eyepiece that allows the shooter to acquire and stay on target quickly in the field. This scope offers a generous 3.9-inch eye relief. It can be comfortably mounted on heavy recoiling bolt-action rifles or on to an AR-15. The Crossfire II features a Dead Hold BDC reticle that is located on the second focal plane. The Dead Hold BDC reticle is another hashmark reticle that helps reduce the time it takes to estimate ranges. The shooter can verify each distance the hashmark represents at any given distance and fire well aimed shots every time. The Dead Hold BDC reticle is great for hunting or targeting shooting when ranges may be unknown.
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Vortex helps the shooter save money when it comes to the glass of the Crossfire II. This scope lacks some of the coatings that the Viper HST has, but it does not mean the glass of the Crossfire II is suboptimal. The glass of the Crossfire II is fully multi-coated. Vortex’ proprietary coatings help increase light transmission with multiple anti-reflective coatings on all air-to-glass surfaces.
The Crossfire II is wallet friendly, but still high quality. It can be relied on in the harshest conditions you can shoot in.
The Strikefire II is the only non-magnified optic to make the Vortex scope list. The Strikefire II is an entry point into the competitive market of red dot sights. This sight is capable of competing with high-priced red dots manufactured by other companies.
This red dot weighs only 7.2 ounces and has an overall length of 5.6 inches. The compact size of this red dot allows the shooter to add magnifiers, back up iron sights, or anything else on their chosen weapon. Like the other Vortex scopes discussed in this article, the Strikefire II is manufactured from one piece of aluminum. Vortex has made sure this optic is durable by using O-ring seals to make it waterproof. Plus, it is fog proof thanks to a nitrogen gas purge.
As red dot sights are often placed on duty rifles that do not require careful handling, this optic is shockproof and can withstand drops and heavy recoil. The Strikefiree II features a hard-anodized finished that helps camouflage the shooter while they occupy a firing position.
The Strikefire II has capped turrets. Generally, a red dot sight is not adjusted for windage and elevation in the field. The shooter can zero their sight, cap the turrets, and not worry about any accidental adjustments. The turrets adjust the dot with ½ MOA per click movement. The reticle for the Strikefire II is a simple 4-MOA dot. The shooter can choose between a red dot or a green dot. Each dot selection has 10 brightness settings. The 2 lowest brightness settings allow the Strikefire II to be night vision compatible.
As with most red dot sights, the Strikefire II has unlimited eye relief. Unlimited eye relief allows the shooter to place this sight anywhere that is convenient for them while still offering the same zero.
The glass that the Strikefire II possesses is fully multi-coated. Light transmission through the sight is great and the anti-reflective coatings allow for concealment.
Vortex has several red dot sights that they manufacture. The Strikefire was their first entry to the market and its success and feedback from customers led to the development of the Strikefire II. This sight is perfect for beginner shooters as well as experienced shooters who do not want to use a magnified scope.
The flexibility of this sight makes it one of the best Vortex scopes for the AR15.
The next scope on this list is tuned to work with popular 5.56 cartridges.
The number 4 scope on the list is Vortex’s entry into a crowded AR15 specific optic market. The Strike Eagle is more than just a competitor in that market, it is considered one of the leaders in AR15 specific scopes. The Strike Eagle weighs 17.6 ounces. It has an overall length of 10.5 inches, which still allows enough space on an AR15 for back up sights and a tactical light.
The Strike Eagle is machined from one piece of aircraft-grade aluminum. Vortex manufactured this scope to have a 30 mm tube so that finding rings or a one-piece scope mount would not be difficult for the consumer. This scope is argon gas purged and O-ring sealed so that it is water and fog proof. The Strike Eagle relies on the same hard-anodized finish as all other Vortex scopes and is shockproof.
The Strike Eagle features capped reset turrets. These turrets allow the shooter to quickly return to their original zero after adjusting for windage and elevation. This is important if the shooter adjusts their turrets for a longer shot or for windy conditions. The caps on the turrets help protect the turret from damage, debris, or incidental movements. The Strike Eagle allows for an impressive eye relief of 3.5 inches.
The reticle of the Strike Eagle sets it apart from the other competition. It is an AR-BDC reticle that is set for use with the most popular of 5.56 cartridges. Unlike other Vortex scopes, the Strike Eagle’s reticle is etched on to the glass. This allows for a more intricate reticle. The reticle is protected by two layers of glass to ensure its reliability.
Another feature of the reticle is that it is illuminated, which allows for well placed shots even in low light conditions. The reticle is situated on the second focal plane. Using this detailed reticle with the built-in fast focus eyepiece allows the shooter to get on target and fire well aimed shots quickly and accurately. The glass of the Strike Fire is not on the Viper HST level, but Vortex still uses multiple coats of anti-reflective coating to ensure durability and good light transmission.
The Strike Eagle is a fantastic scope for any rifle that utilizes the 5.56 cartridge. This scope is constructed well and will give the purchaser years and years of usage. This is a great scope for the AR15 platform.
Vortex has 8 different lines of scopes. The next scope on the list is from the Diamondback line. The Diamondback scope is a 12-inch scope that weighs 14.6 ounces. It is manufactured from aircraft grade aluminum and features a 1-inch tube.
Vortex uses nitrogen gas purges to fog proof the Diamondback line. This scope is waterproofed using O-ring seals and features a matte black, hard-anodized finish. Like the other Vortex scopes, Diamondback scopes are guaranteed to be shockproof and can withstand the heaviest of recoil.
The Diamondback line uses capped turrets much like the Crossfire II line of scopes. Capped scopes may be harder to adjust in the field, but the protection the caps offer allow your zero to hold in harsh conditions.
This scope features a second focal plane reticle that is Vortex’s dead hold BDC design. The BDC design allows the shooter to pre-determine the range that each hashmark represents so that they can place the proper mark on their target and hit it every time. The Diamondback offers quality light transmission utilizing Vortex’s proprietary coatings on all air-to-glass surfaces.
This scope can be used in lowlight conditions and still give the shooter enough light to see their target. The Diamondback can be used on any rifle platform and it can be depended on in the most extreme conditions. Its reticle, size, and weight make it the number 5 scope on the list.
The next scope on this list utilizes a unique reticle measurement that many scopes do not offer.
This compact scope is only 10.1 inches in length. It weighs 21.5 ounces because the features are packed into a short frame. The Razor HD consists of a one-piece 30 mm tube that is waterproof, shock proof, and fog proof. Instead of nitrogen gas purging, Vortex purges their Razor scope line with argon gas. Like their other scopes, Vortex finishes the Razor HD with a hard-anodize coating for a long-lasting matte finish.
The Razor HD has three turrets mounted to the main tube. The windage and elevation are adjusted with large diameter, capped turrets. These turrets are easy to read and easy to adjust. The third turret is an illumination locking turret. This turret is easy to reach and adjust. It contains 11 intensity settings with an “off” option between each setting. The turrets can be adjusted in .2 milliradian (MRAD). A milliradian is a measurement similar to a minute-of-angle. One-tenth of a MRAD equals 1 centimeter at 100 yards while 1 MOA equals 1 inch at 100 yards. This compact scope features a very generous 4 inches of eye relief.
The reticle that the Razor HD possesses is a VMR-2 (MRAD). This reticle is situated on the second focal plane. The VMR-2 is a hashmark based ranging reticle with an illuminated center dot that uses MRAD hashmarks for ranging, holdover and windage corrections. The illuminated center is perfect for use in daylight or lowlight.
The glass sets this scope apart from others ranked lower on this list. It utilizes Vortex’s APO System. This system index-matches lenses that correct color across the entire visual spectrum. This leads to a sharper and brighter image. This scope also has HD lenses that offer high definition images.
In addition, the lenses are XR Plus fully multi-coated. This is a reflective coating that allows for maximum clarity even in low-light conditions. The last glass feature is Vortex’s plasma tech. This coating provides more durability to the glass.
The seventh entry on the list the Viper PST Gen II. This scope is the longest scope on the list at 16 inches and is the heaviest at 31.2 ounces. The one-piece 30 mm aluminum tube is waterproof, fog proof, and shock proof. It features the same hard anodized coating as the other Vortex scopes.
The Viper PST uses exposed tactical-style turrets. These turrets help the shooter make corrections between each shot without having to remove cumbersome caps. Vortex can make turrets that match the reticle that help facilitate more accurate shots. The long scope has a shorter eye relief that is 3.4 inches. The reticle is an EBR-4 MOA which is a hashmark based scope that helps facilitate range and wind estimations. It is located on the second focal plane and is etched into the glass. Like the Razor HD, it does feature an illuminated reticle.
The Viper PST’s glass is not as robust as the Razor HD’s glass. It does feature the same XD lens elements that result in a sharp image. It also features the same XR multi-coat that allows for better light transmission. The glass of this scope is coated in Vortex’s Armor Tek to help prevent scratches and other possible damages.
The next scope on the list is the second in the Crossfire series to make the list.
This scope is 13.5 inches in length and weighs only 19.6 ounces. It features a 1-inch aluminum tube that is waterproof, fog proof, and shock proof. The Crossfire series is nitrogen gas purged. This scope features a fast focus eye piece and an adjustable objective. Any shooter should not have an issue finding their target with those two features combined.
This scope features a comfortable 3.7-inch eye relief, so it can be safely mounted to any caliber rifle. The Crossfire II utilizes a Dead Hold BDC that helps with range and wind estimations. The second focal plane reticle means that each magnification will have a new set of distances for the BDC reticle. The glass of the Crossfire II is fully multi-coated to allow for better light transmission and resistance to scratches.
The next scope on this list is the third Viper series scope to be listed.
This scope is 21.6 ounces and is 14.4 inches in length. The 30 mm tube is crafted from a single piece of aircraft-grade aluminum. It is waterproof, fog proof, and shock proof. Nitrogen gas purging is used for this Viper scope.
This scope uses tall capped reset turrets. These are like the tactical-style turrets, but they offer a cap to protect any adjustments that have been made. The Viper PA has a side focus turret that helps the shooter obtain their focus on their target. The side turret helps the shooter by removing both of their hands from their rifle to focus the scope. Like the other Vortex scopes, it does have a fast focus eyepiece. The Viper PA uses a MAG-Bar which allows for rapid and easy changes in magnification. This scope has an eye relief of 3.1 inches.
The Viper PA’s reticle is a Mil Dot reticle that helps with estimating range, wind speed, and bullet holdover. This second focal plane reticle is good for hunting or long-range target shooting. The glass of the Viper PA features XD lens elements, Vortex’ XR proprietary multi-coating and Armor Tek protective coating.
Whether you shoot at a range, in the field, or in a tactical setting, Vortex has a scope that will work for you. Each Vortex scope has quality glass and is constructed by quality craftsmen.