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Vortex Strike Eagle Review: Is It Worth Your Money?

Vortex Strike Eagle Review

Low power variable optics, known as LPVO for short, have enjoyed a recent surge in popularity.

This is largely due to the US Military veering away from their beloved fixed power optics in favor of variable magnifiers that can be used with a red dot or a holographic sight.

If you’re looking to ride this wave, you may be afraid of burning a hole in your wallet just to find a great scope.

What if we tell you that we found a great entry-level scope at a lower price point?

Don’t believe us? We present to you the Vortex Strike Eagle 1-6×24 LPVO.

Overview of the Vortex Strike Eagle 1-6×24

Vortex Strike Eagle 1-6x24

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Specifications:

  • Objective Diameter: 24mm
  • Magnification: 1-6x
  • Dimensions: 10.5 x 3.38 x 3.75 inches
  • Weight: 18.5 oz
  • Eye Relief: 3.5 inches
  • Turret Adjustment: ½ MOA
  • Internal Elevation Adjustment: 140 MOA
  • Internal Windage Adjustment: 140 Moa
  • Battery Type: CR2032, Lithium
  • Material: Aircraft-Grade Aluminum

The Vortex Optics Strike Eagle 1-6×24 is a budget low-power variable optic.

Please remember that true power scopes can be expensive to manufacture, so given the price point of this scope, it is important to be realistic with your expectations.

That being said, the Vortex Strike Eagle 1-6×24 is a great riflescope for its price point and is leagues better than other riflescopes in its price range!

If you want a good budget scope with a lifetime warranty to shoot at a 0-200 yard range, this is perfect for you.

The Vortex Strike Eagle 1-6×24 is perfect for those who want to shoot close targets, especially best for plinking or competitions.

Pros

  • Bullet drop compensation
  • Fully multi-coated lenses
  • Fog proof and waterproof
  • Great value for money
  • Uncluttered reticle
  • Lifetime warranty

Cons

  • Slight distortion at higher magnification settings
  • Hard to use reticle hash marks past 300 yards
  • Unforgiving eye box
  • Non-adjustable parallax
  • Can be difficult to use in bright daylight

How to Choose the Right Rifle Scope

How do you know that the scope you want is right for you?

There are several factors to take into consideration:

#1 Magnification

Magnification refers to how much closer the target appears under the scopes than the naked eye.

This means that a scope with 5x magnification makes targets appear 5x closer than they do with the naked eye.

Here’s a quick guide to help you figure out how much magnification you need:

  • For target shooting up to 100 yards, stalking small game, and homestead defense: 1-4x
  • For target shooting up to 200 yards, stalking large game, and hunting in closed landscapes (mountains, forests, etc.): 5-8x
  • For target shooting beyond 200 yards and hunting in open landscapes (fields, deserts, etc.): 9-12x

The magnification on a scope is defined by the first number in the model name.

For example, a scope with 5x30mm in its name has a fixed magnification of 5x.

#2 Type of Magnification

There are two types of magnification: Fixed and Variable Power:

  • Fixed power means that the scope has only one magnification that it can’t change. If you intend to shoot from one distance, a FIXED power scope is best for you.
  • On the other hand, variable power means that the scope has more magnification settings. If you prefer moving around and shooting from various distances, a VARIABLE power scope is better for you.

#3 Objective Lens Size

The objective lens found at the end of the scope is responsible for light transmission.

Bigger objective lenses generally tend to give brighter and clearer images.

However, an objective lens too big for your scope may weigh it down and require taller scope rings.

It also makes the scope more likely to reflect sunlight, thus giving away your position.

Here’s a quick guide to deciding what objective lens size is best for you:

  • For close quarters with low recoil: 28 mm and under
  • For low light hunting with just a bit of recoil: 30 – 44 mm
  • For long-distance shooting: 50 mm and up

The objective lens size is described by the number after the x in the scope’s name.

Thus, a scope with 1-4x30mm in its name has a 30mm objective lens.

#4 Lens Coatings

Lens coatings are applied to lenses to enhance sight and reduce glare.

There are 4 basic types of lens coating:

  • Coated: At least one lens has one layer of coating
  • Fully coated: All exterior lenses have one layer of coating
  • Multi-coated: At least one lens has more than one layer of coating
  • Fully multi-coated: All exterior lenses have more than one layer of coating.

#5 Reticle

The reticle is the aiming point of the rifle scope that marks where your point of impact should be.

There are 3 most popular types of reticle design:

  • Duplex: The simplest crosshair pattern for target shooting or hunting
  • Mil Dot: Has dots that help estimate the distance based on size and is ideal for military and law enforcement
  • Bullet Drop Compensating (BDC): Estimates and compensates for bullet drop and is best for long-range shooting

The kind of reticle you choose for your rifle scopes is just a matter of personal preference.

#6 Focal Plane

There are two focal planes: First Focal Plane (FFP) and Second Focal Plane (SFP).

  • For a first focal plane optic, the reticle size changes with the magnification. The first focal plane is best suited for long-range shooting.
  • For a second focal plane optic, the reticle size stays the same regardless. If you aren’t shooting in longer distances, you’ll be okay with an SFP.

#7 Eye Relief

The distance between your eye and the lens is called eye relief.

Getting the right amount of relief can spell everything between having one or two functioning eyes.

NOTE: The amount you need depends on the recoil of your firearm.

That being said, the minimum amount recommended for most rifles is between 3-4 inches.

However, if your firearm has higher recoil, like bolt action rifles, it may require more relief.

About Vortex Optics

Vortex Optics is a manufacturing company based in Barneveld, Wisconsin, known for its riflescopes, spotting scopes, red dot and holographic sights.

It is run by a family of American veterans who work hard to give their customers the best.

Their hard work paid off as they are now considered one of the leaders in the firearm industry.

Their products are trusted even by the military and by law enforcement agencies!

They are so good that, just recently, they were awarded a contract by the US Army to produce 250,000 advanced weapons optics to increase the lethality of the close-quarters combat force.

Vortex Optics is also famous for its Vortex Lifetime Warranty, which guarantees unconditional lifelong service for any Vortex product.

FUN FACT: The original name of Vortex was Eagle Optics, and they originally focused on birdwatching equipment.

If you want to learn more about them, you can also check out our article about Vortex and Leupold.

Vortex Strike Eagle 1 Review

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

Durability – 5/5

The Vortex Strike Eagle 1-6×24 is certified waterproof and fog proof, thanks to o-ring sealing and nitrogen purging.

The one-piece tube is made of aircraft-grade aluminum with a matte black finish to eliminate glare.

The Vortex Strike Eagle 1-6×24 is so durable that you can even throw it in and out of your vehicle without care, and it will still survive!

Adjustments – 3/5

The Vortex Strike Eagle riflescope has capped adjustment turrets that move in increments of ½ MOA.

While the low-profile turrets don’t need a tool for adjustments, they can be too stiff to turn at times, so don’t expect a smooth adjustment every time.

Thankfully, the Vortex Strike Eagle 1-6×24 comes with a clamp-on zoom throw lever that helps you make adjustments.

When they do turn, however, you can be assured of any adjustments you make with the audible, tactile clicks of the turrets.

That being said, because it’s so difficult to move the turrets, you can be assured that any adjustments you make with the throw lever will stay ON no matter what.

After all, if you had difficulty with the adjustment knobs, what can a little shaking possibly do?

Glass – 3.5/5

The glass of the Vortex Strike Eagle 1-6×24 features increased light transmission due to the multiple anti-reflective coatings on all air-to-glass surfaces.

The glass quality assures you of a crisp and clear sight picture with deep contrast to help you pick out your target against a background.

HOWEVER, it’s not the most awesome glass clarity out there. We need to take some points off due to the slight fish eye effect at 6x zoom.

Reticle – 4/5

The Vortex Strike Eagle 1-6×24 features a fast-focus eyepiece and an illuminated AR-BDC second plane reticle etched directly onto the glass.

The bullet drop compensating reticle itself has many features.

It has medium crosshairs and a reticle “horseshoe,” which naturally focuses on the target center.

Built-in ranging helps the shooter confirm sighted distances, while a 5.56 holdover up to 650 yards assists with quick shooting at varying ranges.

It also has a large ring on the reticle that helps quick acquisition with the 1 MOA center dot.

In addition to the abovementioned, it has windage markings at 5, 10, and 15 MPH.

TAKE NOTE: The reticle has no central crosshair despite having all these features.

Whether or not you’ll appreciate this reticle design is a matter of personal preference.

Some may find the reticle too busy and cluttered, while others may find all the features extremely helpful.

As for us, however, we do like all of these features on the reticle! We find that it makes shooting and targeting easier and quicker than a “simpler” illuminated reticle.

That being said, what applies to us may not necessarily apply to you.

The FFP reticle, on the other hand, works even without illumination. Because of this, the Vortex Strike Eagle 1-6×24 can still be used in the event of electronic failure.

Brightness – 3/5

The Vortex Strike Eagle 1-6×24 comes with 11 brightness settings for its illuminated reticle.

While the illumination is crisp and clear on cloudy days, it can get washed out when the light transmission is too bright.

It can be difficult to see the illuminated red dot on a sunny day even with the illumination set at maximum. It can even be hard to see the red dot on brightly lit objects.

Vortex makes up for this with the black etched reticle that works without illumination, which you can use under these conditions.

While the black dot is great for brighter lighting situations, it can still be difficult to pick up depending on the target’s color.

Battery – 5/5

This Vortex Strike Eagle 1-6×24 riflescope runs on a single CR2032 battery.

At maximum illumination, it has an estimated battery life of 150 hours.

If you’re still worried about running out of battery while on the field, it comes with a spare battery compartment underneath the windage cap.

Eye Box and Eye Relief – 3.5/5

The Vortex Strike Eagle 1-6×24 has an eye relief of about 3.5 inches, which is not a lot but is pretty average for an LPVO.

However, we’ve noticed that you really only get about an inch of relief before you notice the sight picture getting a bit tight.

The eye box can be pretty restrictive and can be even more evident if you’re coming from a red dot. The eye box gets even tighter at higher magnifications.

You’ll really need to learn to develop a good head position and sight alignment when using the Vortex Strike Eagle 1.

Warranty – 5/5

The Vortex Strike Eagle 1-6×24 comes with the Vortex lifetime warranty.

Included Accessories

When you buy your Vortex Strike Eagle LPVO, you will find the following in the box:

  • Vortex Strike Eagle LPVO
  • User manual and related literature
  • Protective flip lens covers
  • Lens cloth
  • Two batteries

Customer Reviews

The Vortex Strike Eagle has been reviewed by over 2,450 people on Amazon, resulting in a whopping 4.8/5 star rating.

89% of all their customers have given it a five-star rating, raving about its optical performance and durability.

Let’s see what they have to say.

Testimonials

This customer was a newbie who made the mistake of screwing his scope on a little too tightly. His mistake caused a small, barely noticeable dent in the scope.

A quick call to Vortex Customer Service quickly replaced his barely damaged scope with no problems.

After that seamless transaction, he went on to enjoy the impressive quality that can be expected from the Vortex Strike Eagle 1.

“I plan to buy just Vortex due to them providing such great service. I’m confident if I put a vortex scope on my hunting rifle, I know I’m covered in the worst case scenario. All too often, hunting rifles get dropped or you trip/slip and your scope is now cracked, dented or filled with water. If you got a Vortex, they have your back, no receipts, just send it in, and they’ll do everything they can to get you back out there.” – Anonymous

This shooting enthusiast is a budget-minded college student who found the perfect scope in the Vortex Strike Eagle despite his little income:

“For the price, you can’t beat this optic. Sure there is clearer glass in a Razer, but for $1000 cheaper, it isn’t a big difference. If you are doing anything less than going to war, then this optic is the way to go in the world of LPVO’s. Glass quality is clear, good build, easy adjustments, and very accurate.” – Anonymous

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is an LPVO?

A low-power variable optic has a zoom range from a true 1x to a maximum of 8x.

At its lowest level, an LPVO is similar to a holographic sight.

What Focal Plane Is the Vortex Strike Eagle 1-6×24?

The Vortex Strike Eagle 1-6×24 has a second focal plane design.

We also highly recommend it as one of the best 1-6x scopes for its price tag.

Is the Vortex Strike Eagle 1-6×24 a True 1x?

Yes.

The Vortex Strike Eagle is a true 1x on the low end.

Its magnification allows the shooter to swiftly engage targets at various angles, while its AR-BDC3 reticle provides holdover and also helps with ranging references from 0 to 600 yards.

Is the Vortex Strike Eagle 1-6×24 Made in America?

While the Vortex Strike Eagle line is designed and sold in America, it is manufactured in China.

What Mounts Can Be Used With the Vortex Strike Eagle 1-6×24?

Unlike red dot sights, the Vortex Strike Eagle comes solo without any included mount.

While this makes for an extra expense, it also allows you the opportunity to customize your application.

Here are some possible mounting options:

1. Vortex Cantilever Mount

The Vortex Cantilever Mount is made specifically for AR platforms and for 30 mm tubes like the one that the Strike Eagle has.

Since it’s from the same maker as the Strike Eagle, you know for sure that it’s compatible.

This is probably the best mounting choice for the Strike Eagle.

2. Aero Ultralight Mount

The Aero Ultralight Mount is a compact and lightweight mount compatible with the Vortex Strike Eagle.

It is an affordable scope option that features a cross-slot keyway to protect the optic from recoil.

3. Burris Optics PEPR Riflescope Mount

The Burris Optics Proper Eye Position Ready is a great mount for your Strike Eagle.

It has a quick detach lever to make it easy to mount and unmount your optic.

Vortex Strike Eagle 1-6×24 Alternatives

1. Burris RT-6 1-6×24 Riflescope

Burris RT-6 1-6x24 Riflescope

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The Burris RT-6 1-6×24 is a very close contender to the Vortex Strike Eagle in price and performance.

It’s actually very difficult to tell the difference in clarity between the two scopes.

Features

For starters, the 1x and 6x zoom levels on both scopes have the same distortion. However, if you look really closely, you could probably tell that the Vortex optic has crisper colors.

That being said, the Burris RT is 1.1 ounces lighter and .2 inches shorter than the Strike Eagle.

The Burris RT is best used with the Burris AR PEPR (Proper Eye Position Ready Mount), sold separately.

However, you can get the Strike Eagle in a bundle with the Vortex mount, resulting in more savings.

The Burris Ballistic AR illuminated reticle has a center circle for quick target acquisition at close range.

Its MIL-based hash marks help with shooting up to 600 yards.

Should You Get This Alternative?

While this is somewhat similar to the Vortex Strike Eagle, we’d argue that the reticle on the Eagle is still slightly better.

To wrap it up, the Bushnell RT-6 is extremely similar to the Vortex Strike Eagle but with minor differences.

We still think that the Strike Eagle is better, but the RT-6 is a great alternative nevertheless.

2. Primary Arms SLX 1-6x24mm SFP Riflescope

Primary Arms SLX 1-6x24mm SFP Riflescope

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This is another budget-friendly LPVO that is very similar to the Vortex Strike Eagle 1-6×24. However, there are, of course, a few differences.

Features

While the Primary Arms scope has better pricing than the Strike Eagle, it does fall behind in terms of optical clarity and brightness.

This scope receives high marks for not having edge distortion at 6x magnification. This clarity at a longer range makes it perfect for hog hunting.

Other than that, they’re practically the same.

However, the Strike Eagle is more rugged and reliable than the Primary Arms.

Should You Get This Alternative?

Do you want a better price tag? Do you anticipate shooting at maximum magnification often?

If so, we recommend the Primary Arms scope.

Do you put more value on reliability and ruggedness? Do you worry less about magnification? 

If so, we recommend the Vortex Strike Eagle.

Final Verdict: Are Vortex Strike Eagle Rifle Scopes Any Good?

A good scope, especially an LPVO, needs not break the bank. The Vortex Strike Eagle 1-6×24 is a great example of this!

We actually feature it as one of our top scopes under 500 bucks!

We highly recommend it for a solid LPVO at a great price.

It gives a clear, natural sight picture at close range, making it perfect for close-quarter combat.

With its wide magnification range, you can also use it for 250+ yards.

However, note that using it at higher levels can result in some distortion in the lens.

 

CHANGELOG:

August 4, 2022 - added 1 new article link
May 18, 2022 - minor content and formatting edits

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