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9 Best Vortex Scope Optics for Shooting and Hunting

Best Vortex Scope

When looking for rifle scopes, you need a tough, durable piece of equipment to keep your shots accurate.

You’ll also want something that can help you hit targets at both short-range and long-range, and in ANY light and weather condition.

That’s why Vortex Optics is a reliable, proven choice!

We’ve gone over a few of the BEST scopes that Vortex has to offer and dive into their pros and cons.

For Long Ranges
Razor HD Gen II Rifle Scope
Best Overall
Diamondback Tactical FFP Rifle Scope
For Hunting
Viper PST Gen II Rifle Scope

9 Best Vortex Scopes for Shooting and Hunting

Vortex scopes have been a trusted all-American favorite for years, and they’ve only gotten better over time. Their reputation for high-quality rifle scopes and optics is well-deserved.

You know what you’re getting when it comes to the Vortex line — well-tested, extremely rugged workhorse riflescopes. With a Vortex scope, you’re practically cheating on the hunt!

Vortex Optics offers several different variations of the same scope and different reticle styles to boot. You’re GUARANTEED to find a quality scope that fits your needs.

Read on to learn all about our picks for the best Vortex optics reviews!

1. Vortex Optics Diamondback Tactical First Focal Plane Riflescope

BEST OVERALL

Vortex Optics Diamondback Tactical First Focal Plane Riflescope

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Our list opens with the Diamondback FFP Rifle Scope, which is also the BEST Vortex scope on the list. With its extra-low dispersion glass and glass etched reticle, your targets will be clearer than ever.

A magnification of 6-24x and a fully multi-coated 50mm lens make this long-range scope almost perfect.

If you’re going to enter a situation where you’ll need to change your magnification settings quickly, then you’ll love the Diamondback’s precision glide erector system. It’ll keep your lens zooming as fast as you want it to.

The fast-focus eyepiece in this scope will keep your targets clear in your sights. It’s easy to change your parallax settings with the turret on this scope, so you don’t have to worry about tricks of the light.

Versatility and adaptability are what the Vortex Optics Diamondback excels at, whether that’s on the range or on the hunt.

Pros
  • Extremely affordable
  • High-end performance
  • Comes with a lens cover and cleaning cloth
Cons
  • The Diamondback can't handle low magnification well

2. Vortex Optics Razor HD Gen II Rifle Scope

BEST FOR LONG-RANGE SHOOTING

Vortex Optics Razor HD Gen II Rifle Scope

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The Razor HD Gen II is great for shooting in low light conditions, and that’s because of everything good inside this pricey scope.

With its glass-etched reticle and wide, 3-18x magnification range, this scope is a long-range shooter’s best bet.

You can practically ignore windage and elevation adjustments with this first focal plane scope since it comes with a wide range of adjustments for all conditions.

Of course, everything great in this Vortex scope means it has a much higher price tag.

You should also keep in mind that all the features in this scope add up in weight, making this heavier than most scopes on this list.

Pros
  • Incredible for long-range shooting
  • Scratchproof lenses protect your image quality
  • Great eye relief
Cons
  • Extremely expensive
  • Very heavy for a scope

3. Vortex Optics Viper PST Gen II 2×10-32 Rifle Scope

BEST FOR HUNTING

Vortex Optics Viper PST Gen II 2x10-32 Rifle Scope

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Another first focal plane reticle for the list, the Viper PST Gen II is a more tactical scope, but it can also be a fine hunting scope.

Its illuminated reticle makes sure that the Viper can handle itself in low light. But if the battery dies on you, then its glass etched reticle will keep you fine in the dark.

While it doesn’t quite have a BDC reticle, the Viper is adjustable enough to compensate anyway.

The time of day won’t matter with this scope, thanks to the side focus knob that’ll let you change your illumination intensity to your liking.

You’ll also get 35 MOA windage adjustments with this 30mm tube to suit your tastes.

If you want an alternative to the Viper PST Gen II, the Strike Eagle is a worthy alternative Vortex scope.

Pros
  • Great at any magnification setting
  • A side focus knob will keep you accurate at all times
  • Comes with a rotation indicator
Cons
  • On the more expensive side

4. Vortex Optics Crossfire II 3-9×40 Rifle Scope

Vortex Optics Crossfire II 3-9x40 Rifle Scope

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The Vortex Crossfire II series of rifle scopes is extremely flexible, and this first entry proves it.

Even though it’s a single-piece tube, this scope can do much more than its price tag would suggest.

With its adjustable objective, you won’t have any trouble focusing on your target, whether it’s a varmint or you’re on the range.

Plus, its Dead-Hold BDC reticle will come in handy if you plan to shoot at differing ranges. It’ll take the guesswork out of your shots.

Pros
  • Very forgiving eye box
  • Very affordable
  • Made from shockproof aluminum
Cons
  • Some users report fuzzy image quality on higher magnification settings

5. Vortex Optics Viper HS-T 4-16×44 SFP Rifle Scope

Vortex Optics Viper HS-T 4-16x44 SFP Rifle Scope

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As far as scopes with second focal plane reticles go, the Vortex Viper HS-T is one of the best. You’ll learn what consistency and agility truly mean when using this scope.

Made with extra-low dispersion glass and featuring a fast-focus eyepiece, the HS-T will let you take supremely clear shots at high-speed.

It’s also perfectly capable of delivering performance at long range, with its exposed target-style turrets built for easy clicking.

Fixing your elevation adjustments will be a quick and clean affair, with the CRS zero stop function in this scope.

Just be sure to line up your shot properly to counter windage.

Pros
  • Choose between two reticle styles (MOA and MRAD)
  • The matte finish will keep you camouflaged
  • Shockproof construction
Cons
  • Some customers report windage issues

6. Vortex Optics Crossfire II 6-18×44 AO SFP Rifle Scope

Vortex Optics Crossfire II 6-18x44 AO SFP Rifle Scope

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We couldn’t stop with just one optic from the Crossfire II line.

The adjustable objective on this scope will help keep your image focused, and when combined with its multicoated lenses, your views will be nice and bright.

Tough shooting conditions won’t be a problem with the Dead-Hold BDC reticle on this scope, letting you land long shots with ease.

Your field of view will also be clear with the forgiving eye relief of this Crossfire optic.

Pros
  • Incredible eye relief
  • Fog proof performance defies weather conditions
Cons
  • This Crossfire doesn't handle shorter magnifications well

7. Vortex Optics Strike Eagle Rifle Scope

ortex Optics Strike Eagle Rifle Scope

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This is another amazing long-range rifle scope from Vortex for many reasons. However, the Vortex Strike Eagle is also suitable for your AR.

With its illuminated reticle, you’ll have no problem following your target. You’ll also be able to spot them at all distances with its 4-24x magnification range.

A fast focus dial and BDC reticle will keep you quickly fine-tuning your image while also ignoring variability.

The Strike Eagle is an excellent scope for either long-range or mid-range shooting. It offers flexibility and reliability.

Pros
  • Great at all ranges
  • The parallax knob keeps your shot illuminated
Cons
  • Some buyers report lower quality glass in their Strike Eagle lenses

8. Vortex Optics Crossfire II Rimfire Scope

Vortex Optics Crossfire II Rimfire Scope

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So far, we’ve been looking at scopes for larger caliber rifles. But what if you’re planning on hunting something smaller? In that case, the Crossfire II Rimfire is perfect for you.

This scope represents the smaller end of what the Crossfire II series offers, especially since it’s meant for .22 caliber ammunition. This makes it a great scope for target shooters, plinking, and even hunting small game.

But don’t judge the Rimfire on its caliber. Its second focal plane reticle pairs with a fast focus eyepiece to help you get a sight picture faster.

Pros
  • Excellent for all shooting applications
  • Long eye relief
Cons
  • Not for hunting big game

9. Vortex Optics Razor HD LHT Rifle Scope

Vortex Optics Razor HD LHT Rifle Scope

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Rounding out the best Vortex optics is the Razor HD LHT. If you love to hunt at dawn, this optic will help you seize the day with its illuminated reticle.

With its illuminated center dot, you won’t have trouble aiming with the Razor HD LHT. It also features the excellent Revstop Zero system if you end up making elevation adjustments.

This optic is also a bit of an odd duck in this lineup. While it’s a perfectly acceptable scope for low-light hunting, it’s a little outclassed by other Vortex scopes.

In case you want more bang for your buck, we’d recommend a Strike Eagle instead.

Pros
  • Lightweight
  • Packed with elevation adjustment features
Cons
  • Pricier than other Vortex scopes
  • Some customers report dimmer glass

About Vortex Optics

Vortex makes optics for you, whether you’re a hunter, birdwatcher, or even a member of law enforcement.

No matter your hobby, as long as it involves spotting things from far away, Vortex makes accessories for YOU.

In the year 1986, in Wisconsin, the Hamilton family founded Vortex. Now they’re still based there today, and their products have the same top-notch quality as ever.

What Are Vortex Rifle Scopes Known For?

Vortex scopes are known for being the perfect mix of quality and affordability, meaning you can get top-of-the-line gear WITHOUT breaking the bank.

These scopes keep their place at the top with their excellent contrasting colors. This contrast helps you pick out your targets from their surroundings, ensuring your shots don’t miss.

It also doesn’t matter what time you intend to use your scope since Vortex scopes give you clear pictures no matter the light condition.

What Makes Vortex Optics Different From Other Optics Brands?

Vortex stands out from the pack by promising clear images, reduced distortion and maximum color.

This is true for every scope you get from them, whether on the low-end or the high-end.

Rifle scopes from Vortex optics also come with a lifetime warranty, so you can get your rifle scopes repaired at no extra cost!

This warranty covers both repairs AND replacements for damages caused by either manufacturing issues or even just regular use.

With Vortex Optics, your riflescope is in safe hands.

What to Look for in the Best Vortex Rifle Scope

Every scope should have these things, but anything from Vortex is sure to have all three:

#1 Image Quality

If you’re a long-distance shooter, then you’ll want a riflescope that can still hit targets precisely at extended ranges.

But your scope won’t help much if you don’t know what you’re looking at.

And if you’re a hunter, you have to make sure that more light passes through your scope to compensate for darker conditions.

And if you need to quickly adjust your aim, you can say goodbye to any blurring as you swing a Vortex scope.

Vortex uses multicoated lenses in their scopes for more light transmission. They source these high-quality lenses from Japanese factories.

So you know that image quality and a clear sight picture are GUARANTEED with these scopes. No matter your magnification settings, you won’t suffer from any blur.

#2 Durability and Construction

These scopes are all constructed with durability in mind. You’re more likely to suffer from scope bite than risk damaging any part of these beauties.

Every scope that Vortex makes is made from aircraft-grade aluminum or other alloys. So you don’t have to worry about damage.

And even if you somehow end up with a defect or abuse your scope too much, their VIP warranty ensures you can always come back for repairs or replacement.

Whether it rains or fogs up during the hunt, you’re safe with these scopes. Their scratchproof lenses are also designed to deliver high performance no matter the weather.

#3 Maintenance and Intuitiveness

Your pricey scope won’t mean much if you struggle with using it. Luckily, these scopes have clearly defined turrets that will make adjusting on the fly a breeze.

With well-placed controls and dials, Vortex scopes are ready for any shooting style.

There’ll be no wallet-emptying when you need to take care of your scope, either. Regular use is covered by their incredible warranty.

Both your scope and Vortex will continue to serve you for a loooong time.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some answers to any questions you might have about Vortex scopes.

What’s the Difference Between First Focal Plane and Second Focal Plane?

You might be wondering whether your scope being “FFP” or “SFP” will make any difference in your accuracy. Here’s a quick breakdown of what these terms mean!

As your magnification changes, your ideal focal plane will change too.

Remember that a first focal plane scope will be better for long-range shooting, and a second focal plane scope will be better for hunting at a shorter range.

The main difference between FFP and SFP is in the size and values of your reticle:

First Focal Plane

For FFP scopes, the values on your reticle will be consistent no matter your magnification settings because the entire reticle itself will shrink on lower magnification settings and enlarge with higher magnifications.

An FFP scope is ideal if you need to make a fast shot since the hash marks remain consistent.

However, the reticle might be too large at a higher magnification, so keep that in mind. An illuminated reticle might help out in this case.

Second Focal Plane

Your SFP scope is a different story. The reticle will remain the same size regardless of your magnification settings.

This consistency only becomes a problem when it comes to the hash marks. Since the hash mark values will change depending on your magnification settings, you’ll need to do a little bit of math to reorient yourself properly.

Either style of focal plane will do you right, as long as you’re comfortable using it.

Don’t go overboard with the magnification on your scope.

Seeing and hitting your target at long ranges is great, but all movements are bigger at higher magnification. A slight twitch from that buck you’re looking at might throw off your shot, so be careful.

You should also make sure you still know what you’re looking at. You might mistake tree branches for a deer’s flank when you’re completely zoomed in.

Where Are Vortex Scopes Made?

Vortex Optics source their lenses from Japanese factories. With their cutting-edge craftsmanship and rigorous quality control, you KNOW you’re getting a crystal clear scope.

If you’re wondering where everything is put together, Vortex is based in Barneveld, Wisconsin. It’s family-founded, operated, and owned to this day.

Which Is Better: The Vortex Viper or Diamondback Scope?

Before we get into a discussion of which is better, you should know your budget first.

A Diamondback scope is much more affordable than a Viper, but the Viper’s higher price tag is definitely worth it!

Both of these scopes are made from aircraft-grade aluminum, so they can stand up to whatever conditions you put them through. That being said, the Diamondback is a lighter scope.

However, that extra weight in the Viper isn’t a design fluke. It comes with a wider magnification range, plus it’s better for low light and has more eye relief.

The Diamondback will serve you just as well in all conditions because of the argon gas inside.

When it comes down to it, keep these tips in mind:

Go for the Diamondback if:

  • You want to adjust quickly
  • You’re a beginner hunter
  • You won’t be hunting at night

Go for the Viper if:

  • Magnification is your top priority
  • Your budget’s a little higher
  • You’re a long-range shooter

Summary of Top Picks

Here are our top overall picks for the best Vortex scopes on the market:

Best Overall – Vortex Optics Diamondback Tactical First Focal Plane Riflescope

When it comes to Vortex Optics scopes, the Vortex Optics Diamondback is our king!

This no-frills scope represents the pinnacle of the quality that Vortex is known for, while also being one of the most affordable scopes around.

The Vortex Optics Diamondback is perfect for longer ranges. Its rugged design and high-quality construction are sure to help you make the toughest shots.

Best for Long-Range Shooting – Vortex Optics Razor HD Gen II Riflescope

The Razor HD Gen II has it all. Power, brightness, and lightweight, to boot. Its price is its only downside, but it’s worth it anyway.

This scope is stuffed to the gills with adjustment features and built to take a beating. No matter the time of day or the wind conditions you’re facing, you’re bound to make the shot with this optic.

If you want a longer-range shooting style scope, the Razor HD Gen II is for you.

Best for Hunting – Vortex Optics Viper PST Gen II Riflescope

Whether you need a great hunting scope or an incredible tactical scope, the Viper PST Gen II will suit your needs.

This beauty is solid as a rock, scratchproof, yet still extremely easy to use. If you’re a hunter, then this optic is your new best friend.

The Viper PST Gen II is one of the most dependable riflescopes around, and its features speak for itself.

Conclusion: Are Vortex Scopes Worth It?

If you’re looking for top-of-the-line performance at every price point, then there’s a Vortex scope out there for you.

This American company has been making quality scopes for decades, and their tools are the best friend of hunters and firearm enthusiasts alike.

You will NOT be disappointed with whatever Vortex riflescope you choose to buy.

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