The 6 Best Vortex Optics Scopes to Buy in 2021

This is a comprehensive review of the best scopes from Vortex optics.

We have listed every detail about the top products along with a guide to help you choose the right scope.

When it comes to the best Vortex Optics scopes, three things come to mind: practical, reliable, and affordable. Vortex optics has developed some stellar lens tech with over two decades of experience to provide crystal clear images for shooters.

So which is the best Vortex scope for the money?

Let’s dig a little deeper and find out.

What makes Vortex Scopes Special?

Vortex isn’t the most experienced optics brand for hunters out there. But they stand out in terms of quality and a customer-first policy.

Why do I say this?

Firstly, Vortex believes in delivering products that meet the users’ needs in the best possible manner. Next, they ready to support the customer long after the sale is made. That’s why they offer an Unlimited Lifetime Warranty with all their products.

Next, their wide range of products is designed for recreational sportsmen as well as for serious hunters. In terms of optical performance, their scopes are some of the best that you can pick. Some of the most popular scopes from Vortex include the Viper series, the Crossfire series, the Diamondback series, and the Razor HD series. 

To be honest, not all scopes are crafted with precision. So when you need top-tier gear without breaking the bank, you can count the best Vortex scopes. 

In fact, most of the Vortex scope offers solid dollar value. Thanks to features like a high-quality optical system, rugged design, and excellent long-range performance.

So unless you are looking for the best night vision scopes for shooting in complete darkness, Vortex scopes are highly recommended.

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The Top 6 Vortex Optics Scopes Reviewed

 Product's nameFeature 1Feature 2More Info
Vortex Optics Viper PST Gen II First Focal Plane RiflescopesBest regular hunting scope
Vortex Optics Viper PST Gen II First Focal Plane Riflescopes
Excellent image qualityRZR Zero Stop featureSee on Amazon
Vortex Optics Crossfire II Second Focal Plane, 1-inch Tube...Best affordable scope
Vortex Optics Crossfire II Second Focal Plane, 1-inch Tube Riflescopes
Affordable priceFast focus eyepieceSee on Amazon
opplanet vortex razor hd amg 6 24 x 50 ffp ebr 7 moa rzr amg 1 mainBest high-end Vortex scope
Vortex Razor HD AMG
Precisely engineeredL-Tec Zero Stop mechanismView Product
Vortex Optics Diamondback Tactical First Focal Plane...Best Vortex hunting scope
Vortex Optics Diamondback Tactical First Focal Plane Riflescopes
First focal plane reticleGreat tactile feelSee on Amazon
Vortex Optics Golden Eagle HD 15-60x52 Second Focal Plane...Best for long-range shooting
Vortex Optics Golden Eagle HD 15-60x52 Second Focal Plane Riflescopes
High magnification rangeRugged build qualitySee on Amazon
Vortex Optics Viper HS-T Second Focal Plane RiflescopesBest all-round scope
Vortex Optics Viper HS-T Second Focal Plane Riflescopes
Accurate rangingA versatile performerSee on Amazon

1. Vortex Viper PST Gen II 5-25×50

Trail 2 LRF XP50

  • First Focal Plane scope
  • Field of view 24.1-4.8 ft/100 yds
  • 5-25x magnification
  • 50 mm Objective Lens
  • CR2032 battery
  • Weighs  31.2 oz
  • 3.4 inches eye relief

Pros

  • XD glass lens
  • First Focal Plane reticle with illumination
  • Fully multi-coated optics
  • Single-piece aluminum tube
  • Rapid Zero Return (RZR) feature
  • High-quality erector-spring system

Cons

  • Not the lightest scope
  • Not the best choice in bad weather conditions

This is a tactical scope with a bunch of high-end features. The first thing is the high-quality optics that uses low dispersion glass and multiple anti-reflective coatings. So the sharpness and the clarity of the images remain top-notch.

In addition, the 50mm objective lens and 30mm main tube aids in better light transmission.

However, image clarity comes down when you use it in snowy conditions.

Note, this scope comes with 2 reticles- an MOA version and an MRAD version. Both come with red illumination for low-light shooting.

As with the first focal plane reticles, you’ll find the reticle scale remaining in proportion to the zoomed image.

The tactical-style turret feels solid and the superior grade knurling makes it easy to handle with wet or gloved hands. It’s constructed from aircraft-grade aluminum. So you can expect solid strength and durability.

Other than that, it’s fog proof, shockproof, and waterproof. The ArmorTek coating makes it resistant to scratches. Overall, it can handle rough outdoor conditions with ease.

Another great feature is the RZR Zero Stop.  This allows you to adjust for long-range shots and then return quickly to the original sight mark. Besides, there are precision spring and erector systems for repeatability and easy adjustments.

For a great balance of image quality and ease of use, the Viper PST Gen II is a great option.

2. Vortex Optics Crossfire II 6-24×50 Riflescope

Trail 2 LRF XP50

  • First Focal Plane scope
  • Field of view  17.3-4.4 ft/100 yds
  • 6-24x magnification
  • 50 mm Objective Lens
  • 40 MOA Elevation adjustment
  • Weighs 23.6 oz
  • 4.0 inches eye relief

Pros

  • Second focal plane reticle
  • Sturdy built quality
  • Fully multi-coated lens
  • Single-piece aluminum tube
  • Fast focus eyepiece
  • Affordable price

Cons

  • Image quality suffers at higher magnification
  • Comes without mounts or rings

While this is one of the most affordable scopes from Vortex, there have been no compromises in terms of optics or image quality.

As with all other products from Vortex, you get excellent build quality and a lifetime warranty with the Crossfire. On top of that, it’s easy to use and is versatile enough for medium to long-range hunting.

To start with, the 6-24x magnification allows you to use it easily between 100 to 400 yards. Thanks to the fully multi-coated optics and a large objective lens, the image quality remains crisp and bright throughout the magnification range.

Also, at this price point, the image clarity around the edges is impressive. That said, clarity goes down when you reach the limits of magnification.

The objective here is adjustable and the scope is free of parallax. Since this is a second focal plane lens, the reticle says the same even if you zoom in.

Keep in mind that this scope comes with three different reticle options, including one with an illuminated red dot.

The standard Dead-hold BDC reticle is great for making the necessary holdover and windage corrections. But some users may find the hash marks too small at lower magnifications.

What about durability?

The Crossfire is made from aircraft-grade aluminum with a  shockproof design. It’s also O-ring sealed and nitrogen-filled for weatherproofing.

To sum up, the Crossfire II does a great job in balancing affordability with some great features. For us, it’s the best Vortex scope for the money.

3. Vortex Optics Diamondback Tactical  4-12×40 Riflescope

Trail 2 LRF XP50

  • First Focal Plane scope
  • Field of view  18-4.5 ft/100 yds
  • 6-24x magnification
  • 50 mm Objective Lens
  • Max Elevation Adjustment 65 MOA
  • Weighs 24.6 oz
  • 3.9 inches eye relief

Pros

  • XD glass lens
  • First Focal Plane glass etched reticle 
  • Precision-Glide Erector System
  • Excellent optical performance
  • MOA or MRAD reticle options

Cons

  • A stiff focus knob
  • The clicks are a bit mushy

You’d have to say the Vortex Diamondback tactical offers some great features for the money. But how does it perform in the real world?

Quite simply, it’s really impressive.

As expected, Vortex uses extra-low dispersion (XD) glass and multicoated optics. The result is sharp image quality even in twilight hours.

The tactical turrets and a side parallax knob along with a zoom power control ring make the adjustments easy. The erector-spring system ensures maximum repeatability and the zoom adjustments are super smooth.

However, the tactile feel of the clicks isn’t precise. Also, the focus knob felt a bit stiff. With gloves on, it’s not so easy to adjust.

The EBR-2C reticle is the first focal plane type. It has a glass etched design and offers excellent tracking. Beyond that, the windage and elevation adjustments track very well along the straight lines.

Some users may not like the cluttered viewing field of the reticle. But that’s a personal preference.

Next, the shockproof design and hard-coat anodization make it ready for rough outdoors. The scope is weatherproof too. 

On the whole, the Diamondback tactical is one of the best Vortex hunting scopes offering solid performance at a budget price.

4. Vortex Razor HD AMG 6-24×50 Riflescope

Trail 2 LRF XP50

  • First Focal Plane scope
  • Field of view  20.4-5.1 ft/100 yds
  • 6-24x magnification
  • 50 mm Objective Lens
  • L-Tec turret style
  • Weighs 28.8 oz
  • 3.6 inches eye relief

Pros

  • ALO lens alignment
  • First Focal Plane glass etched reticle 
  • A precise erector tube system
  • Illuminated reticle
  • Micro Adjust Zero Setting

Cons

  • It is pricey
  • Eye relief could be better

Looking for ultimate precision for tactical applications to long-range hunts and everything in between? The Razor HD AMG is the best choice in the Vortex lineup.

When it comes to optics, the Razor is loaded with features. Firstly, the lens elements are aligned by a precision-laser process by using a focused laser beam. Next, the extra-low dispersion glass lenses are optically indexed for better sharpness.

But that’s not all…

The anti-reflective coatings are applied by a special plasma tech process to provide superior performance in low light. Not to forget, it comes with an illuminated reticle with 11 intensity levels.

The single-piece aluminum tube has a hard-anodized black finish that’s waterproof and fog proof. All in all, the Razor is a perfect combination of top-class optics and a rugged weatherproof design. 

Beyond that, there are features like the L-Tec Zero Stop and an advanced friction reduction system. The L-Tec turrets are designed for precision and easy adjustments- just what you expect from a high-end scope. 

To be honest, there isn’t much to dislike about the Razor. Vortex has crafted a superb scope that is exceptional from all aspects.

Make no mistake about it. The Razor is designed for pro shooters and not for weekend fun-seekers.

5. Vortex Optics Golden Eagle HD 15-60×52 Riflescope

Trail 2 LRF XP50

  • Second focal plane reticle
  • Field of view 17.8-5.1 ft/100 yds
  • 15-60x magnification
  • 52 mm Objective Lens
  • Adjustment graduation 1/8 MOA
  • Weighs 29.7 oz
  • 3.9 inches eye relief

Pros

  • Excellent image clarity at higher magnifications
  • The reticle is great for tracking
  • Plasma tech coating application mechanism
  • Easy to use turrets
  • Comes with an extra windage turret

Cons

  • Zeroing in can take some time.
  • Not for short ranges

This is a scope designed specifically for competitive shooters looking for dependable long-range performance. The good news is, even with high magnification, Vortex has kept the weight on the lower side and the price reasonable.

What we liked is the excellent clarity, even at high magnification levels. Thanks to the extra-low dispersion glass and the optically indexed lenses. The multiple coatings also ensure good low-light performance with negligible distortion around the edges.

The rugged housing is crafted from a single piece of aluminum and is waterproof and shockproof. There is Argon gas purging to make it fog proof too. On top of that, there’s an extra-hard ArmorTek coating to prevent scratches and smudges.

The other thing is, the chunky turrets feel solid and are easy to use, even with gloved hands. The scope allows you to make incremental adjustments of 0.125 MOA per click. Great for competitive shooters looking to fine-tune their shots.

Next, the ECR-1 reticle works great for long-distance shooting. Other features include a fast-focus eyepiece and an aperture stop ring for better depth of focus.

Vortex has kept the price within affordable limits, making it a scope that perfectly balances price and performance.

Quite simply, when you are looking to hit the target way above the 1,000 yards mark, the Golden Eagle HD is a great choice.

6. Vortex Viper HST 6-24×50 Riflescope

Trail 2 LRF XP50

  • Second Focal Plane scope
  • Field of view 6.3-1.7 ft/100 yds
  • 6-24x magnification
  • 50 mm Objective Lens
  • Adjustment graduation 1/4 MOA
  • Weighs 22.6 oz
  • 4.0 inches eye relief

Pros

  • Superior optics for great image quality
  • The reticle is easy to use
  • Practical and  intuitive adjustments
  • Durable lightweight design
  • Easy to read dials.

Cons

  • Best for short to medium ranges
  • Not the best for low light conditions

This versatile scope comes with a number of features that make a positive impact on the overall performance. Two things that stand out are the exceptional build quality and a versatile optical system.

With extra-low dispersion XD glass and the fully multicoated optics, the optical system stands out with solid clarity and exceptional color representation. The top-notch anti-reflective properties reduce glare and keep the images sharp even at higher magnifications.

In terms of build quality, it’s waterproof, shockproof, and fog proof. Vortex has also managed to keep it very lightweight without compromising durability. 

There’s a VMR-1 reticle with MOA and MRAD options to choose from. The turret has a zero-stop system and a fiber optic-based turret rotation mechanism. The side focus and the windage adjustments are also easy to use.

What else?

The precision-glide erector system keeps the zoom mechanism smooth even in extreme weather conditions. Also, there’s a fast-focus eyepiece for easy adjustments. If you want quick target acquisition, this scope is a good choice.

Overall, this is one of the best Vortex scopes for the money for long-range hunting or competitive shooting.

About Vortex Optics

Vortex was set up in 1986 in Barneveld, Wisconsin by Daniel C. Hamilton. Vortex started with the brand Eagle Optics, primarily designed for birdwatchers. Presently, the brand has a diverse portfolio of optical products including spotting scopes, red dot sites, binoculars, rangefinders, and other accessories.

It has its headquarters and manufacturing facility and two indoor shooting ranges in  Barneveld covering around 150 acres of land. While all of the products are designed in-house, Vortex has manufacturing contracts with various brands across the globe. In case of damages, all products are repaired in the Barneveld headquarters.

With Vortex, it’s not just about delivering an exceptional experience for the customers. It’s about exceeding expectations.

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Common Rifle Scope Terminology

Before going into the buying guide, let’s take a look at some common jargon related to riflescopes.

Field of View: This is the horizontal distance that you can see while looking through the scope. A larger field of view is good for acquiring fast-moving targets quickly. The field of view decreases when the magnification level increases.

Fixed and Variable Power– Fixed power scopes come with a single level of magnification. Variable power scopes have more than one magnification level.

Parallax– This is an error that is mostly associated with long-range scopes. Due to the error, objects aren’t portrayed in their actual location in the image. Most advanced lenses come with a parallax adjustment feature.

Minute of Angle (MOA)– The accuracy of the scope is measured in terms of MOA. Keep in mind, a minute is equivalent to 1/60th of a degree. When converted to linear distance, one MOA is considered as 1 inch at 100 yards.

Turret- These are the various knobs placed on the scope for necessary adjustments related to windage and elevation.

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Factors to Consider When Buying a Vortex Rifle Scope

With so many factors to consider, it’s usual for first-time buyers to feel a bit overwhelmed. So here are some of the basics that you need to consider. Even if you are an experienced user, this can be the refresher that you need.

Purpose of Use

The features of the scope that you choose will depend on the type of shooting that you do. Basically, you need to choose a scope that matches your purpose. While there are plenty of powerful scopes out there, don’t get carried away by high-end features. In fact, more isn’t always the best.

Besides, you need to consider how long you will be carrying your weapon and the time period of use. If you are planning for multi-day hunting trips across rugged terrains, the durability of the scope is an important factor.

Image Quality

The image quality depends on the quality of the glass and the type of coating applied to them. The extra-low-dispersion glass used by Vortex optics delivers sharp images and reduces chromatic aberrations.

The special chemical coatings applied to the glass reduce the light loss due to reflection and glare. This enhances the sharpness of the image. Now lenses can be coated, multicoated, or fully multicoated. Fully multicoated lenses are the best in terms of image clarity.

Many lenses come with High-definition glass (HD) that indicates higher light transmission resulting in better image quality.

Magnification

Magnification brings the object closer to you compared to the naked eye. However, you need to select the magnification levels based on your purpose. Or else, you may end up wasting your money on higher zooms that you’ll never use.

Quite simply, you don’t need a high-end scope with high magnification for 20x for hunting whitetail deer. In most cases, a 3-9x scope is good enough for deer hunting and also for smaller games like squirrels. Besides, you’ll get a wider field of view with a lens of lower magnification and faster target acquisition.

On the other hand, you will need a scope with around 6-20x of magnification for hunting prairie dogs. For target shooting beyond 200 yards, magnifications of 12x should be good enough.

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Reticle

Reticles or crosshairs are visual markers in the scope which help you to establish an aiming point. Now, there are multiple reticle types available and you need to choose one based on your preference.

Duplex reticle– These are a common type of reticle combining thick and thin crosshairs. They are good for aiming at small, fast-moving targets.

Mil Dot reticle- These reticles come with mil dot markings that can be used to calculate target distance, bullet drop compensation, and wind drifts. Since the calculations are complex, they are mostly used by experienced shooters for long-distance shooting.

BDC/ Ballistic reticle- These reticles help the shooter to compensate for the effect of bullet drop. By using a ballistic chart and marking on the reticle the shot can be lined up accurately after accounting for bullet drop.

Illuminated reticles- The illuminated reticles are useful for shooting in low light conditions or in deeply shaded areas. It’s best to choose a reticle that allows you to adjust the illumination levels.

Objective Lens

The objective lens is placed at end of the scope and determines the amount of light that enters the scope. It’ll be easier for shooting in low light conditions during dusk and dawn with a bigger lens.

That said, a larger objective lens will also increase the size and weight of the scope. It‘ll also make it more prone to light reflections.

Basically, a high power scope for low light conditions should have an objective lens diameter between 30 and 44mm. For long-range shooting, it should be 50mm or higher.

Construction

The construction of the lens determines the overall durability. The good news is, best Vortex Optics scopes come with a waterproof and fog-proof design. Moreover, they are also shockproof to withstand the impact of high-recoil firearms.

Eye relief

This is a factor that determines the usability of the scope to a large extent. Eye relief is the minimum distance between the scope and your eye which allows you to see the complete image. In short, the larger the eye relief the better it is. 

A larger eye relief allows you to spot the target quickly, it also prevents injury to the eyes from the recoil of the rifle.

FAQs

Which is the best Vortex Optics scope?

That depends on your shooting requirements and budget. For us, the Vortex Viper HS-T is the best overall performer.

How Much Should You Spend on a Rifle Scope?

We suggest you pick a quality scope that matches your needs rather than picking a cheap one. The reason is that the scope allows you to place the bullet in the right spot safely. Honestly, a faulty scope can ruin your shooting experience. So it’s best you pick the best scope that your budget permits.

Are vortex scopes worth the money?

Absolutely. Once you take a look at our Vortex scopes reviews, you’ll see that they offer a great price to performance ratio.

What kind of scope do I need for 1000 yards?

For that, you’ll need a scope that has a high magnification. The Vortex Golden Eagle HD is a great choice.

Which is a better scope- Vortex Crossfire or Diamondback?

Both are good scopes in terms of glass quality and reticle options. However, the Crossfire scopes are better options for budget buyers.

What are the features of a good scope?

The best scope is one that meets your shooting requirements and budget. You can take a look at the main features of a rifle scope listed above.

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Conclusion

Time to sum it up.

We have listed the best options in our Vortex scopes review for each category along with the pros and cons. 

Vortex Optics offers some of the best rifle scopes that both veteran shooters and newbies will enjoy using. With superior optics, top-notch durability, and a lifetime warranty, these scopes are a reliable choice for all conditions. And remember: good quality glass can make a big difference in your success rates.

Now go out there and check out the best deal on Vortex scopes.

About Annalena Wood

Annalena is carrying her rifle with passion and pride for her love of the outdoors and the experience of hunting. Her most memorable hunting season was back in 2015 when she and her dad were drawn for special elk tags. That allowed them the chance to fill their tags with an actual bull elk rather than a spike. That year both her and her dad came home with their first trophy elks, with hers a 6 by 6 pointer and her dad’s a 6 by 5.