If you’re looking for a new scope, narrowing your choices to Vortex is already a great start. They’re one of the best optic manufacturers in the world. But finding the right Vortex scope for your needs can still be tricky. After all, they make lots of them! We put this guide together to make it easy to find the best Vortex scope for you.
Unlike other guides or Vortex scopes reviews, we’ve taken the time to research each scope thoroughly. Our Vortex optics reviews will show you exactly what each scope excels at and what it brings to the table. Let’s get started.
What Are Vortex Scopes Known For?
Vortex Optics is an American optical equipment company that produces optics for a variety of activities and hobbies, such as birdwatching, hunting, outdoor recreational sports, and more. They’ve also produced optics for law enforcement. Not only do they create some of the best scopes in the business, but they also produce a wide variety of binoculars, telescopes, and other sighting accessories.
They began in 1989 in Wisconsin, which is where they remain today. Over the years, they’ve created several excellent lines of rifle scopes and optics. These lines include the Viper series, the Crossfire II series, the Diamondback series, and the Razor HD series, but there are many more.
In terms of performance optics, Vortex is known to be among the top manufacturers. Many of their products combine quality with price, making them a popular choice for recreational sportsmen or for hunters that want top-tier gear without completely emptying their wallets.
Specifically, Vortex optics are known to provide excellent contrasting colors in their scopes’ sight pictures no matter the light condition. High contrast in the sight picture is important because it helps you distinguish your target from their surrounding environment, which is a necessity when hunting game.
Vortex optics are also well-known because most of them come with a lifetime warranty. This warranty provides repair or replacement services or any of their rifle scopes if they suffer damages for manufacturer defects or from regular use. As a result, Vortex scopes can be purchased for an affordable price and maintained affordably, as well. Most of their scopes are great value for money.
When you’re browsing the excellent Vortex scopes below, keep the following factors in mind. These will help you determine the best scope for your needs and ensure that you pick the right optic for your next hunting expedition.
First or Second Focal Plane
The first thing you should consider is whether a given scope has a reticle on the first or second focal plane, often abbreviated FFP or SFP, respectively. First focal plane reticles change size as you switch between magnification settings, getting larger as you zoom in and smaller as you zoom out. This keeps their holdover points for windage and elevation accurate across all zoom levels.
Second focal plane reticles do not change size as you zoom in or out, so their reticles are easier to get comfortable with across multiple engagement distances. However, they do require some estimation on your part because their holdover points are only perfectly accurate at one magnification setting.
Either reticle type can be effective in the right hands. We provided several scopes with both types of reticles you can choose which you prefer based on your experience or practice.
Vortex makes excellent rifle scopes across a wide variety of magnification ranges. There isn’t a single magnification range that is ideal for every hunter, which is why we provided scopes with variable magnification settings below.
Generally speaking, traditional hunting engagements for many different types of animals will take place between 200 yards and 500 yards. For these purposes, optics that have magnification settings between 2x and 8x or so are fine. Magnifications of 10x or above are great for hitting shots at 1000 yards or greater, while scopes with zoom levels of 20x or greater are edging into sniper territory.
All in all, choose the Vortex scope that has magnification settings you’ll actually use on your next hunting expedition. It makes no sense to spend money on a scope that can let you target 20x away if you’ll never use that feature.
We picked out Vortex scopes that are built with durability in mind. That includes being made with excellent materials that include waterproofing and fog proofing designs, which are great for using the scopes in inclement weather.
The scopes below also use multicoated lenses. These special coatings are added during the manufacturing process and increase light transmission (which provides you with a clear sight picture) or protect the lenses from being scratched.
The 6 Best Vortex Scopes Reviewed
1. Vortex Optics Viper HS-T 6-24×50 SFP Riflescope
Our first Vortex scope comes from the Viper line. It features magnification levels between 6x and 24x, offering astounding versatility in terms of its effective ranges. It also features a second focal plane reticle that will stay consistent in size across all of those zoom settings. This reticle is even better for taking snappy and agile shots thanks to the fast focus eyepiece integrated into the scope’s design.
Even better, this scope has exposed target-style turrets that are perfect for precise and repeatable windage and elevation adjusting. They feature zero-stop functionality, and there’s an included parallax turret to eliminate that variable for distant shots.
This scope features some of the best lenses on the market. They’re coated with superior materials: XR coating to boost color fidelity and resolution and Armortek coatings for scratch and dirt protection. When combined, they ensure the performance and durability of the scope’s lenses for a long time to come.
- Has the best lenses we’ve seen
- Turrets are responsive
- Has parallax turret
- Features a body that is water and fog proof
- Narrow range for eye positioning
The Final Verdict
All in all, this scope is a fantastic choice for practically any hunter or marksman. It’s great for any range, its turrets offer excellent adjustment precision, and the lenses are durable and provide a perfect sight picture every time.
2. Vortex Optics Crossfire II 6-18×44 AO SFP Riflescope
The Crossfire II line is perhaps the most well-known from Vortex. This variant offers zoom levels between 6x and 18x, perfect for hunting in traditional engagement ranges and for shots across much farther distances. It also features an adjustable objective to take care of parallax.
This model features an excellent BDC reticle to help you land distant shots while compensating for bullet drop. Many of the same excellent features we saw before are present again, such as a durable and waterproof/fog proof construction, multicoated lenses, and finger reset adjustable turrets.
Fast Focus Eyepiece
This scope features great eye relief on most of its magnification settings. The eye box is very forgiving, and the eyepiece allows you to quickly focus on your target, adjusting your reticle to let you land a shot in a hurry. This eyepiece may be of particular value to hunters that typically target fast-moving prey.
- Can be used in any weather
- Has adjustable objective
- Turrets are precise and crisp
- Has BDC reticle
- Has multicoated lenses
- Eye relief gets short at higher magnification
The Final Verdict
This particular Crossfire II scope is great for hunters that spend more time at longer ranges than others. Its magnification ranges, adjustable objective, and quality glass all mark it as a fantastic yet affordable scope. Its eyepiece is truly among the most effective on the market.
3. Vortex Optics Diamondback Tactical 6-24×50 First Focal Plane Riflescope
Next, we have a Vortex Diamondback. This first focal plane rifle scope has magnification settings between 6x and 24x. At the upper end of these settings, it’s a scope that’s perfect to combine with a sniper rifle or for targeting distant but still animals. The lenses are crafted from extra-low dispersion glass and have been fully multicoated to improve the sight picture they project.
This scope also features exposed tactical turrets and a side parallax knob. These tools give you the adjustability you need to land precise shots no matter what conditions you face. The scope as a whole is made from aircraft-grade aluminum and is built to withstand recoil and any weather without suffering and performance.
Precision Glide Erector System
Changing between the scope’s generous magnification settings is always smooth and consistent thanks to this system. It utilizes premium components in the zooming lens to ensure that every magnification change happens when you need it to and without jamming or slowing.
- Can swap zoom settings smoothly
- Is water and fog proof
- Has tactile and precise turrets, including parallax
- The reticle is glass-etched for stability
- Lens glass is low dispersion
- No zero top for the elevation turret
The Final Verdict
This scope is among the smoothest on the market and the most user-friendly. It features excellent adjustment turrets and the precision glide erector system is fantastic for swapping between magnification settings on the fly. The first focal plane reticle is a great choice on the part of the manufacturer since it works well with this feature.
4. Vortex Optics Diamondback Tactical 4-12×40 SFP Riflescope
This next Diamondback scope features magnification settings for shorter range engagements: 4x to 12x, to be exact. This is, therefore, a perfect choice for hunters that spend most of their time in engagement ranges around 1000 yards or shorter. It features a second focal plane reticle that’s perfect for this series of magnification settings.
This scope also has responsive tactical turrets for windage and elevation that are very sensitive to touch. They also feature zero-reset functionality to keep your modifications quick and easy to change, even in a hurry. Its durable construction rounds out the exceptional benefits it offers.
This scope’s lenses are truly amazing. They’re crafted with the same high quality and low dispersion glass we expect from a Diamondback scope, but they’ve also been fully multicoated with a special XR coating that improves their brightness and creates a wonderful sight picture. As a result, it’s a great scope for low light conditions.
- Glass doesn’t disperse light
- Very bright sight picture
- Turrets are responsive
- Very durable body
- Zero reset function can feel a little stiff
The Final Verdict
This scope is a great choice for hunters that spend time during dusk or dawn hours hunting their preferred prey. The glass that makes up the lenses is remarkable, and the rest of the scope’s features only reinforce its value.
5. Vortex Optics Strike Eagle 4-24×50 SFP Riflescope
Vortex’s Strike Eagle scope has magnification settings between 4x and 24x, which work with a 50 mm objective lens and a second focal plane reticle to provide you with a versatile and effective product for both close range and long-range engagements. The glass-etched reticle has detailed hold points and stays visually clean no matter what zoom level you are currently in.
The lenses are fully multicoated to improve their performance, and this scope features zero resettable and tactical turrets. These have adjustment rotation indicators to ensure that each change you make is accurate and crisp. In addition, the scope is made from durable materials and with a special sealing process to ensure waterproof and fog-proof performance.
Exposed Parallax Turret
This turret is a great tool for eliminating the effects of parallax. But it also features a special illumination control that can brighten the scope’s reticle between 11 different settings. This versatile turret is easy to use and responds sensitively. However, it can be a bit difficult to change the brightness of the reticle without also adjusting your parallax compensation.
- Has multicoated lenses
- Features 11 different illumination settings for reticle
- Built to work in any weather
- Has zero resettable turrets
- Illumination controls are a little crowded
The Final Verdict
This effective scope has lots of excellent tools to ensure that your next shot is a success. The choice to include the illumination controls on the parallax turret is unique, but after spending some time with this pick we think anyone can get used to its benefits and be pleased with this scope’s performance.
You can also check our review on Vortex Strike Eagle 1-8×24.
6. Vortex Optics Crossfire II 4-12×50 AO SFP Riflescope
This Crossfire II model features magnification settings between 4x and 12x, along with an adjustable objective that can let you handle or eliminate parallax on your long-distance shots. These features are bolstered by the presence of antireflective and fully multicoated lenses that can improve the scope’s sight picture.
This scope also features lots of eye relief on lower zooms and a forgiving eye box. These improve your accuracy even further, as do the capped reset turrets that are finger adjustable. These can let you handle your windage and elevation variables with ease. Add to these qualities a durable frame and waterproof performance and you have quite a scope on your hands.
This scope features a high-quality BDC, or bullet drop compensating, reticle. That means the reticle has special holdover points at its bottom line that let you adjust and compensate for gravity’s effects on your next shot. Such a reticle can make your long-distance shots even more accurate than they already are.
- Has a BDC reticle
- Can function in any weather
- Has an adjustable objective for parallax
- Turrets are precise
- Lenses are multicoated
- Eye relief gets short on high magnification
The Final Verdict
This is a phenomenal scope through and through. It has everything a marksman or hunter could want, including the ability to adjust for parallax. But its excellent reticle and durable construction are the two standout points that make it well worth its affordable asking price.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where does Vortex get their glass?
A number of vendors in Japan manufacture optics components for all major Vortex products, including Vortex Golden Eagle HD, Razor HD, Razor HD LH, Razor HD Gen III and Razor HD Gen II-E riflescopes. Japanese factories also manufacture the lenses and other glass internals for the Vortex Razor HD AMG riflescope.
Can you buy directly from Vortex Optics?
Yes! You can buy apparel, branded gear and optics accessories direct from their website. For other optics needs, it is encouraged you visit one of their dealers.
Who owns Vortex?
Vortex Optics was founded in 1986 by Dan Hamilton, who still owns the company, and he recently moved the entire operation, including manufacturing and research, to an eastern Iowa County town.
Is Vortex well-regarded?
Vortex is known for providing high-quality rifle scopes in a price range that is accessible to all buyers. The best part is that you don’t have to pay extra for their VIP warranty, and you won’t have to worry about getting a good deal.
Does the military use vortex scopes?
The US Army has awarded Vortex Optics a contract to provide up to 250,000 XM157 Next Generation Squad Weapons — Fire Control systems under the parameters of a 10-year firm-fixed-price deal with a minimum ceiling value of $20 million and a maximum ceiling value of $2.7 billion.
What magnification do snipers use?
Snipers frequently employ a magnification level of 2x-12x, which is ideal at long ranges. You may easily adjust the magnification if you need it to be lower or greater. At extended ranges, a higher magnification lets you to hit targets more precisely.
What Is a First Focal Plane Scope?
When you adjust the magnification on a first focal plane (FFP) scope, the reticle seems to change size. When zoomed out, the reticle appears small, and when zoomed in, it appears enormous.
The key benefit is that the reticle’s magnification and vision stay constant, ensuring that your stadia markers are always accurate. A one-millimeter mark in your crosshairs, for example, will remain constant over the magnification range.
What Is a Second Focal Plane Scope?
The reticle and the view in a scope with a second focal plane (SFP) reticle are not proportionate in size. To put it another way, the reticle size appears to remain constant. It’s equally as big when zoomed in as it is when zoomed out.
The production of second focal plane scopes is the easier of the two varieties. As a result, second focal plane scopes are more common than first focal plane scopes, and they are frequently less priced.
Why Should You Get a Rifle Scope?
On most of their firearms these days, most firearm enthusiasts employ an optical sighting system. Not only rifles, but also shotguns and handguns. There’s a good reason for this: it’s simple. One-third of the intricacy of lining up iron sights is eliminated when aiming via a scope or a red dot sight. You must align the rear sight with the front sight and your target when using metallic sights.
With a scope, all you have to do is align your crosshairs with your intended target. Learning to shoot with a scope is far easier than learning to shoot with iron sights, and because most rifle scopes magnify, your target appears closer, allowing you to place a more precise shot.
Concluding our Vortex Scopes Review
Each of the above scopes represents the height of quality and performance from Vortex. Hopefully one of them perfectly matches your needs. Good luck and thanks for reading!