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Vortex Diamondback HP 4-16×42 Review: Is It a Worthy Scope?

Vortex Diamondback HP 4 16x42 Review

This Vortex Diamondback HP rifle scope is one of the best scopes under $500.

With a fully multi-coated lens, side focus adjustments, and other features, this Diamondback HP 4 16×42 optic has great performance for the price.

In this Vortex Diamondback HP 4 16×42 review, I’ll be talking about the build, ease of use, and performance that this rifle scope offers.

Overview of Vortex Diamondback HP 4-16×42

Vortex Diamondback HP 4-16x42

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This is one of the first scope models in the High Performance or HP series. 

The Diamondback HP 4-16×42 has the HIGHEST variable magnification level of all the HP models.

This optic is built for long-range shooting at a maximum of a whopping 16x magnification.

It also has parallax adjustment that’s adjustable via the side focus turret, which you can adjust from 30 yards to infinity length.

The reticle on this sight is a BDC reticle (Bullet Drop Compensating). It has 80 MOA windage and elevation adjustments.

You can enjoy maximum accuracy, even when correcting for wind drift.

The fully multi-coated glass on this scope is Vortex’s patented XD (Extra Low Dispersion) glass lenses.

This scope has CLEAR glass, quick and smooth adjustments, and holds zero very well! It’s loved by many shooters, myself included, but it has one downside.

Some have reported quality control missing a few defective scope products. Others lose the ability to sight in or don’t retain zero well.

However, Vortex’s unlimited warranty helps a lot with issues like this! Any defect or damage is immediately repaired or replaced free of charge.

  • Clear XD glass for long-range shooting
  • Easy to adjust side focus turret
  • Fully multi-coated glass for added clarity
  • Fast-focus eyepiece with long eye relief
  • Some defective units

Full Review of Vortex Diamondback HP Rifle Scope

Let’s take a deep dive into the biggest scope of the Diamondback line. I’ll discuss a few categories: build and design, ease of use, performance, and pricing.

By the end, I’ll also give my overall rating.

Build and Design

Build and design icon

The Vortex Optics Diamondback HP series has exceptional build and design, and this model is the PERFECT example of that!

This rifle scope is permanently lubricated from the factory, meaning all the turrets and adjustment mechanisms function smoothly!

I’m glad I didn’t need to manually lubricate or disassemble and clean the insides of this scope!

Just looking at the smooth lines and design of the scope screams premium build. The capped turrets give it a nice touch, too!

Additionally, the scope is both waterproof and shockproof, meaning you shouldn’t worry if you accidentally drop your rifle on the ground or in a body of water.

I can take this bad boy outdoors on a rough shooting session and still have it in tip-top shape!

Ease of Use

Ease of use icon

The first thing I noticed when I put this scope up to my eye is how BRIGHT the sight picture is.

The large 42mm objective lens diameter means more light can get into the optic.

In my experience, low-light shooting was a PIECE OF CAKE with this scope!

You’ll next appreciate the fast-focus eyepiece that makes eye relief easy.

You don’t have to squeeze up so close to the eyepiece to get a clear picture, which many shooters will appreciate.

This helps a lot with shooters who like to check their shot groups with a separate pair of binoculars before sighting in again.

The Vortex Optics Diamondback also has capped adjustment graduation turrets, which are easy to adjust for windage and elevation.

Combined with the clear dead hold BDC reticle, it allows for quick adjustments. If the parallax effect seems off, you can easily adjust it using the side focus turret.

All the turrets don’t have audible clicks but notify you using positive clicking turns. Whether you like the silent operation is a personal preference.

Using this scope is a BREEZE!

It has creature comforts usually found on more expensive rifle optics but at a cheaper price.


Performance icon

What durable and easy-to-use scope is worth buying if the scope glass sucks?

Fortunately, owners of the Vortex Diamondback HP 4-16×42 can’t relate to the question above because the glass is TOP-TIER!

The glass itself is Vortex’s proprietary Extra Low Dispersion or XD glass. 

These fluorite crystals improve the sight picture resolution and reduce chromatic aberration.

The result is a sight picture with true color fidelity and sharp, crystal-clear image quality.

I had NO issues seeing the dead-hold BDC reticle and finding your target quickly!

The BDC reticle is highly accurate, with 80 MOA windage and elevation adjustments for you to dial in, which is crucial for a scope that can zoom up to 16x.

This is just nitpicking, but one thing I want to see in future updates to Vortex’s line of scopes is an illuminated reticle, as this particular optic doesn’t have one, unfortunately.

PRO TIP: When using this optic, make sure to clean the front and back ends. This will make sure that the optic quality is crystal clear.


Price tag icon

The MOST IMPRESSIVE feature of this scope isn’t a physical one. The value of the scope for the price you pay is absolutely phenomenal!

This high-performance scope in the Diamondback line retails for around $479. However, I’ve seen some sales having it at $249!

You read that right, all these goodies for less than $500!

Some far more expensive ones don’t perform as well as this one.

A rifle scope at this price with optical lens clarity is almost unheard of! This is probably the BEST scope in its price range.

Overall Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

5 out of 5 stars banner

What to Consider Before Buying a Scope

Man with sniper rifle

There are TWO major considerations you should make before buying any rifle optic.

The first is whether you’ll use ALL the features on the rifle optic you’re paying for.

For example, if you’re only shooting at close-range to medium-range targets, do you really need a 16x zoom level?

If you’re dead set on getting a sight from Vortex Optics, they have many riflescope options with varying zoom levels. 

Pick the right one for your use case.

The second consideration you should think about before buying a rifle optic is PRICE.

Too often, I see people wildly stretching their budgets because they’re told that you need a $2000+ rifle scope to make it usable.

A wide variety of bang-for-the-buck optics at lower price points perform just as well as those twice the price!

You just need to research and dig around to find great recommendations.

About Vortex Optics

Vortex logo

Vortex Optics is an American veteran and family-owned company that makes rifle scope products and other accessories for shooting.

The Hamilton family started the company in 1986, and it is based in Barneveld, Wisconsin.

Vortex is known to make scope products with HIGH-QUALITY glass and is also known for top-tier customer service.

They offer an unlimited, unconditional lifetime warranty on all their products. If any part on your scope gets damaged, they’ll repair or replace it.

There is no need for a receipt, cause of damage, or proof of where you purchased it. Vortex will honor the unlimited warranty!

Warranty is an important factor to consider when choosing a rifle scope that you’ll be using for many years.

Sure, there are cheaper scope options out there, but why get one that might break in a few years which you’ll have to replace?

Frequently Asked Questions

After reading my review on the Vortex Optics Diamondback HP 4-16×42 sight, you might still have questions about it.

I’ve answered the most commonly asked ones below.

How Far is a 4-16×42 Scope Good For?

The optimal range for this scope is 200 yards and below. However, experienced shooters can extend this range to even 300 yards.

Where is the Vortex Diamondback HP Made?

The Vortex Diamondback line is made in China.

Don’t let this scare you because all the products go through quality control checks in the USA!

Plus, the unlimited lifetime warranty should reassure most people regarding parts breaking and repairability.

You don’t need a receipt or give a reason as to why it broke; you can rest easy knowing they’ll fix it or replace it; no questions, no charge – FOR LIFE!

Is Vortex Diamondback HP Good for Hunting?

This optic is great for hunting, especially in low light.

The 42mm objective lens helps to see targets clearer in the late afternoon to early night. The clear XD glass also contributes to this optic’s easy-to-see nature.

One thing that would make this optic even better for hunting would be an illuminated reticle.

What Is a Dead-Hold BDC Reticle?

The Dead-Hold BDC is a reticle that uses 3 hash marks on the vertical line and 3 on the horizontal line of the reticle.

These hash marks are used to help the shooter adjust for windage and bullet drop.

One thing most people miss when choosing an optic with a dead-hold BDC is compatibility with the proper firearm type.

Vortex Optics classifies firearms into different categories and makes optics with BDC reticles specifically zeroed for each use case.

My advice when using BDCs is to test them with your rifle and ammunition.

Yes, even different grain ammunition can affect the accuracy of the reticle.

The difference in accuracy will only increase with range, so ensure that you check the Vortex website, where they list all classes of firearms and which BDC spec to get with each.

Are There Any Alternatives to the Vortex Diamondback HP 4-16×42?

There are a lot of alternatives; too many to list, in fact. However, I recommend any rifle optic from Leupold.

Just like its competitor, Vortex, they also make great rifle optics with crystal clear glass.

My Final Verdict

Man looking through scope

It’s a big, fat, giant YES for me!

This Vortex HP optic is great for medium-range and longer-range engagements due to the clear glass, easy adjustments, and stellar build.

However, the price-to-performance value makes this Vortex HP optic a NO-BRAINER!

The top-tier materials and how it all works together make this Vortex HP optic punch above its weight.

If you’re looking for an optic under $500 that will serve you for life (don’t forget the unlimited lifetime warranty), this Vortex Diamondback is the way to go!

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