The Vortex Optics brand is not a new name in the gun accessory market. It is a US-based company that has been around for a while now and produces some of the best optics in the market for guns.
They have a massive market in the US and some of the other major countries of the world. Their gun scopes are regarded as one of the best, in competition with brands like Primary Arms and Leupold. If you are a fan of the brand, you will enjoy going through this review of the best Vortex scopes.
The headquarters of Vortex Optics is in Wisconsin. So the quality control meets American standards. That is why their scopes are in so much demand throughout the world. China, Japan, and the Philippines are just some of their markets.
Vortex is a new brand when you compare it to other companies like Leupold. It was formed back in 2004 and lacked the necessary experience in the field. But despite the lack of knowledge, it has held its own against the competition. Not to mention it is less expensive than Leupold and gives similar quality optics.
Why Choose Vortex Optics Scopes for Your Rifles?
Any seasoned rifle shooter will tell you the advantages of scope when you are out on the hunt. The problem is not everyone appreciates one feature over the other. Some might find one kind of reticle too complex and would want to stick to a simple crosshair. Others understand the importance of a feature in the scope. If you have enough options, then it boils down to personal preferences. Vortex Optics caters to a variety of budgets and tastes.
While other brands offer similar quality or better, Vortex Optics has the price advantage. Compared to some older brands, Vortex offers better prices with their lower-end models. Not only that, but the company also has a reliable warranty system where they often replace your piece if something is wrong with it. This has won over some loyal customers who will swear by the brand’s reliability.
Vortex Optics caters to a variety of budgets and preferences. They have a vast lineup of scopes. As you move up the price tag, you will find some specific features. The lower-end models might be missing those features, so you have to choose wisely. Other than that, their scopes are pretty durable and will last you a decent amount of time.
Things to Consider Before Purchasing a Vortex Scope
When you are buying any scope, regardless of the brand, there are a few things to keep an eye out for. These things generally matter, and not just for when you are purchasing a Vortex Optics scope. But thanks to excellent quality control, usually the brand meets most of these criteria. But a few things depend on the buyer’s preference. So here is a short buyer’s guide to help you pick your optics.
1. Magnification Power
This is purely based on your preferences. Whether you use your rifle for hunting games or shooting at the range at long distances, this will decide what magnification power you want in your scope. You can find high magnification in the top-tier Vortex Optics scopes as well as the budget ones. If magnification is all you want, then it will boil down to how much money you can throw in on it.
If you are looking to find something for multipurpose uses, both hunting and shooting at ranges, a variable magnification scope will be a helpful asset. But if you are only looking to hunt deer or elk, then just a 3-9X magnification scope will do. This, added with some other essential features, will help you tremendously in your hunting journey.
Vortex Optics scopes offer a variety of reticles that can help you in your journey. Most optics have reticles that have a BDC (bullet drop compensation) included. We have horseshoe reticles, MIL-dot, and duplex, along with many more complex ones. If you are a seasoned veteran, a complex reticle will help you shoot at different distances. But if you do not like the clutter on your scope, a simple scope will give you a better feel.
If you can utilize the BDC on your reticle correctly, it can help you tremendously at the range and during hunting. Depending on the gun you have bought the scope for, you can shoot accurately at various distances.
3. Construction and Durability
Thankfully, Vortex Optics scopes have solid construction; even the budget ones are pretty durable. But when choosing out any scope, it is vital to see what material it is constructed from. A gun produces massive recoil depending on the cartridge it shoots. If you are shooting, let us say a 300 Win Mag, which is optimized for power, you will need a scope that can bear the kick it produces.
These days the industry standard is to mill out the whole body of the scope using a single block of aluminum or magnesium. By using these metals, which are light in weight and sturdy, you improve the integrity of the optics. If it is constructed out of a single block of metal rather than parts, there is no chance of any part becoming loose.
Also, it is vital to choose a scope that does not reset to zero after every shot is fired. It needs to retain the adjustments you made for at least 100 fired rounds or until you reset it on your own. Luckily, when it comes to Vortex Optics, their scopes are made out of aircraft-grade aluminum. This makes them resilient to shocks from even the most powerful of shots fired. And they are lightweight since they are made from a light but durable material.
The glass is an important aspect when purchasing scopes from any brand. The quality of the lens is one thing to keep an eye on. Another thing would be the coatings on it. A fully coated lens will help transmit light better. But a multicoated lens will provide additional effects upon that. It prevents glaring and reflection on the scope so that your position is not compromised when hunting.
Additionally, some coatings protect the glass from moisture, oil, and dust. Having these can extend the life of an optic. Vortex Optics scopes are multicoated to provide the best experience to any shooter. Their Razor series of scopes comes multicoated and has a Plasma Tech coating that improves the durability of the glass.
With all these features, scopes can get pretty expensive. Depending on the number of features available in an optic, the price can be pretty hefty. The Razor series of scopes can be very pricey since it is their top-of-the-line product. But if you can settle for fewer features, you can find a budget scope like the Crossfire II.
Depending on the number of features you want, you will have to pay more. So this aspect boils down to how much you are willing to pay and what you want. Vortex Optics is considerably cheaper than brands like Leupold. But that does not make it any less good than them. They are premium optics and are priced justly.
6. Other Features
Other features that can help improve your hunting are illuminated reticles, second focal plane, first focal plane reticles, and parallax adjustments. There are plenty more features like that which you can find in the Vortex Optics line of scopes. These will ultimately depend on your preferences. Whether you want a part or don’t want it will affect the pricing considerably.
But some features are worth the money, like ArmorTek coating or HD Lenses that provide high color fidelity and image quality. Though it may seem overpriced to some, the price is justified with the quality you receive in return.
The Best Vortex Scopes Reviewed
1. Vortex Optics Diamondback 4-12×40 BDC (MOA) Rifle Scope
If you want something with a reasonable price tag and brilliant features, the Diamondback is a good series to look at. The Vortex Optics Diamondback has everything you will enjoy from a good scope. First up, the Dead-hold BDC reticle gives you a clear idea of where to aim at different distances. The clear glass gives you a lucid image during the day.
With the lens being multicoated, seeing in dark settings is possible. So you can stretch your hunting sessions till dusk, even when the lighting is dim. The metal on metal turrets gives you the option to zero in with precision.
The solid one-piece aircraft-grade aluminum construction gives it resilience to shocks. So the Diamondback series is ideal for shotgun and brush applications as it can bear the brunt of the brutal recoil. Not to mention you don’t have to zero in after every shot.
If we were to find a flaw in the Diamondback series from Vortex Optics, it has to be the dusky edges at higher magnifications over 10X. Also, the reticle is on the second focal plane. But besides that, we are looking at one of the best Vortex scopes in the market at a reasonable budget.
- Durable Aluminum Construction
- Quality Lucid Images From Dawn Till Dusk
- Anodized Finish
- Dead-Hold BDC Reticle for Accurate Shots at Varying Distances
- Dusky Edges at Magnifications Higher Than 10X
2. Vortex Optics Crossfire II 3-9X50
The Vortex Optics Crossfire II 3-9X50 is one of the best scopes in the market for the price. The ample 50mm lens provides the crispest and clear images during the day and after sunset. The light transmission of this lens is impeccable, making it possible to stretch the hunting session well after daytime.
Thanks to the lens being fully multicoated, increasing light transmission while preventing glare and reflection off the surface of the glass. Windage and elevation turrets are adjustable by hand without the need for tools.
The aluminum construction of the scope makes it a perfect candidate for shotguns. But it is also an excellent consideration to mount over a varmint rifle. A generous eye relief makes these optics considerably comfortable to use.
There is also a choice between the reticles, and you can get either a dead-hold BDC or a V-Plex reticle. And in the V-plex, you can find an illuminated variant called the V-Brite Illuminated reticle. It comes at different brightness settings for different ambient lightings.
The scope is nitrogen purged, and O sealed for fog resistance during cold weather. It is also waterproof, and thanks to aluminum construction, it does not accumulate rust either. The scope is pretty reasonably priced for all the cool features it has.
- Reasonably Priced
- Single Piece Aluminum Construction Great for Handling Recoil
- Resettable MOA Turrets
- Choice in Reticles
- Fully Multicoated Lens
- Image Quality at Long Distances Not Up to Par
3. Vortex Optics Crossfire II 6-18X44 with Adjustable Objective
Vortex Optics Crossfire II with Adjustable Objective helps remove parallax and focus on the target better. This provides help when hunting for the bigger game. It has similar features to the other Crossfire II scopes, including having an amazing quality lens that gives crisp and sharp images.
The resettable turrets are capped and can be adjusted by hand for precision tuning. And the lens is multicoated for maximum light transmission. So you are not bound to daylight and can hunt in the low light of the sunset.
Generous eye relief and quick focus eye-piece add further to the already powerful precision qualities of this scope. It has a durable aluminum housing for shock resistance. It is also nitrogen-purged and O-sealed for waterproof qualities.
The Vortex Crossfire II is pretty inexpensive if we compare these to other scopes in the same class and features. The only downside would be that it is not as good as some of the higher-end models for magnification. The upper magnification levels have blurry focus.
- Durable With Shockproof, Fog-Proof, and Waterproof Qualities
- Improved Light Transmission due to Multicoated Lens
- Generous Eye Relief
- Capped Hand Adjustable Turrets
- Blurry at Higher Magnification Levels
4. Vortex Optics Razor HD Gen II First Focal Plane Riflescopes
It is difficult to talk about the best Vortex scopes without including their most high-end optics. The Razor HD Gen II has it all. You name it; Gen II probably has it. First, let us talk about the exclusive features that are hard to find in other scopes.
The HD lens gives you color fidelity, and you see clear images throughout the magnification range from edge to edge without even the slight cloudiness. So visual quality is a given in the Razor Gen II optics. The lens is also multicoated and provides the highest light transmission in all of the Vortex scopes.
Razor HD Gen II has a sturdy aluminum housing that can withstand the recoil of the biggest cartridges. When it comes to the reticle, it is glass etched and protected between layers. A professional will appreciate the complex reticle design, which gives you accuracy throughout various distances, perfect for long-distance applications.
But if you are not a fan of cluttered and complex reticles, we would advise against this optic. Lastly, if you are interested in all the fantastic features of this scope, be ready to pay a hefty price. The Razor series of scopes cost well over two grand. If you are okay with the hefty price tag, it is hard to find a better scope in the market.
- HD Lens for Clear Image From Edge to Edge and Color Fidelity
- Durable Housing
- Parallax Adjustment From 32-Yards to Infinity
- Maximum Light Transmission
- Good for Long Distance Shooting
- Very Expensive
- Cluttered Reticle Might Put Off Some People
5. Vortex Optics Strike Eagle
Now, this is a scope that is fit for all scenarios. The Strike Eagle has the advantage in all of the Vortex Scopes for close combat scenarios. It has 1X to 8X variable magnification, so it is ideal for most situations. Thanks to the additional knob over the magnification, adjust the zoom fast and easily.
In addition to the lens being multicoated for maximum light transmission and light reflection, you also get an ArmorTek coating that prevents scratches, stains, and dust. So regardless of the conditions you are in, this scope will endure along with you. It will last a long time and give you its money’s worth.
The reticle is illuminated, and you can adjust the brightness with the provided knob. You have the option to choose between BDC3 a variation of the bullet drop compensator reticle. You also have an EBR-4 reticle that gives you the tactical advantage at close combat.
The housing, as usual, is single-piece aircraft-grade aluminum which is plenty durable. This scope is ideal for AR more than any other rifle. The only problem with this scope is the tight eye-box that only gets smaller when you zoom in on higher magnification settings.
- Ideal for Short and Long Distance Situations
- Illuminated Reticle
- ArmorTek Coating Prevents Scratches and Dust
- Durable Aluminum Housing
- Superb Light Transmission
- Tight Eyebox
6. Vortex Optics Viper 6.5-20×50 PA
The Viper by Vortex Optics is second in line after the Razer. That means they are pretty expensive but also offer quite the features. Not quite the HD view the Razer gives, the Viper provides you with crisp image quality. It falls slightly short of what you would expect from a highly-priced Vortex Optics scope.
The X lens has quite an image quality and color fidelity, giving you an amazing view throughout the magnification range. Viper also has a second focal plane reticle, which means the reticle remains the same regardless of how much you zoom in.
A dead-hold BDC reticle provides you with accurate shots over the most extended distances. The lenses are multicoated and then protected by an ArmorTek coating that helps resist scratches and stains.
A hard-anodized finish and the single-piece construction out of aircraft-grade aluminum provide the tube with resilience against shocks. All in all, it is a great scope but falls short at higher magnification ranges.
- XD Lens Gives Crisp Quality Images
- ArmorTek Coating Protects Lenses
- Dead-hold BDC Reticle for Accurate Shots at Distances
- Durable Construction
- Higher Magnification Quality Not up to Par
7. Vortex Optics Golden Eagle HD 15-60×52 Second Focal Plane Riflescopes
In the market for some long-range hunting? The Vortex Optics Golden Eagle is your scope. The long-range scope offers the highest magnification setting of up to 60X. And that too through a 52mm objective lens that gives you such a clear image as you have never seen.
If you like to shoot at a 600-yard distance then you will love this scope’s quality image. The crisp and sharp vision that this scope gives you is top-notch and on par with the Razer HD. This scope has almost similar features as the Razor HD Gen II. And it features much more simple reticle options.
You have the most standard and simple crosshair reticle is one option. And an enhanced crosshair that helps you accurately shoot at longer ranges. Both of these are pretty simple and straightforward. This is the scope for a powerful rifle.
The construction is pretty solid, and you can shoot a 300 Win Mag from your rifle with this scope attached without accidental adjustments to the turrets. This might be the best long-range scope Vortex is offering right now. The only issue is, this scope is for long-range applications only since the lowest magnification it offers is 15x. So if you shoot from far, then you are good to go with this.
- Quality Image Through HD Lens
- Multicoated Lens With Proprietary Plasma Tech Coats
- Sturdy Housing
- Highest Magnification Range
- Simple Reticle for Hassle-Free Shooting
- Not Great for Close Range
8. Vortex Optics Spitfire 3x Prism Scope
Here we have something for AR shooters, a 3X Prism Scope by Vortex. The Vortex Optics Spitfire 3X Prism Scope gives you a fixed magnification, a sturdy and rugged build, an illuminated reticle, and included lens covers.
The reticle is a BDC that is illuminated, and you can change the reticle’s color between red and green. So whatever suits the lighting during that time, you can change in between these with a simple turn of a dial. The SpitFire also allows you to adjust the intensity of the reticle as well.
Windage and Elevation knobs provide you with adjustability with your hand on the go. No need for tools as adjustability is by hand throughout. The lens covers to protect the glass from debris and dust when not in use.
The illuminated reticle requires a battery, though, but the reticle is glass etched, so it does not require a battery to see the reticle itself. Lenses are also multicoated for maximum light transmission during dark light settings. Overall it is an average prism scope that has a pretty durable and solid construction. Great for close combat tactical applications and long-range shooting through AR.
- Illuminated Reticle With Adjustable Color Setting
- Windage and Elevation Knobs for Adjustability
- Glass Etched BDC Reticle for Battery-Free Use
- Multicoated Lens for Maximum Light Transmission
- Great for Close and Long Range Shooting Applications
- Bulky in Size
9. Vortex Optics Viper PST Gen II 5-25×50
Viper series has quite a range of scopes that are well suited for long and close-range shooting applications. The PST Gen II from the Viper series is a prime example. It has a 5-25X magnification range allowing you to hunt at close and far away distances.
There are three reticle choices to choose from. All of them are variants of an EBR reticle. There are simple reticles to complex ones for accurate shooting at distances. If you don’t like the clutter, the EBR-4 reticle will do much better.
The reticle is also illuminated but glass etched in case you want to use it battery-free. Also, the lens is high quality, providing you with a clear image throughout the distances from end to end. Not to mention the lenses are multicoated for maximum light transmission even at dusk.
The windage and elevation turrets are laser etched with a fiberoptic indicator that gives you a clear idea of where you are with the adjustments. But zeroing in can be a bit troublesome for most people.
- Easy Installation
- Illuminated Glass Etched Reticle
- Fiber Optic Turret Indicator
- Good Magnification
- Clear Image Quality End to End
It is sufficient to say Vortex produces some of the best scopes in the market. The scopes mentioned above are the best from the Vortex Optics Line. But you can check out more optics options from their website or Amazon if you wish to find something different. Or if you are looking for a specific feature. Either way, we covered most scopes from their riflescopes. But even if you can’t find the element you want from the list of the scopes above. They provide you with a great warranty, so no matter which scope you buy from them, they will give you excellent customer service.
Their budget line of scopes is excellent, but people who have purchased the higher-end ones swear by the quality they have received from Vortex. In the end, it will boil down to your budget. But it is a one-time investment, and if you do buy a higher-end model, you are set for life.