Shooting Mystery is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

Vortex Viper HS-T 4-16×44 Review: Is It a Good Scope?

Vortex Viper HS-T 4-16x44 Review

Are you considering getting the Vortex Viper HS-T 4-16×44 scope, but…

Not quite sure if it’s the right fit for you?

Want to be sure it’s worth the price you’ll pay?

Keep reading this helpful review to see if this scope will strike true for you, just like a viper.

Overview of the Vortex Viper HS-T 4-16×44

Vortex Viper HS-T 4-16x44

BUYING OPTIONS:
» Best Price on OpticsPlanet «
» Check Price on Cabelas «
» Check Price on Amazon «

The Viper HS-T 4-16x 44 from Vortex Optics is a very easy to use for target shooting and hunting at extended ranges. 

It has a forgiving eye box and a well-designed second focal plane reticle.

While it is perfect for mountain hunting and long-range applications, it may be a bit TOO MUCH for general-purpose deer hunting.

Specifications:

  • Weight: 20.8 oz
  • Length: 13.7 inches
  • Objective Lens Diameter: 44 mm
  • Magnification: 4-16x
  • Eye Relief: 4.0 inches
  • Adjustment Graduation: 1/4 MOA
  • Maximum Windage and Elevation Adjustment: 75 MOA

Pros

  • Incredible glass clarity
  • Great color fidelity
  • Tactical style turrets
  • Great for long-range shooting
  • Compatible with hunting rifles
  • Made of durable aircraft-grade aluminum

Cons

  • Has an SFP reticle
  • Not ideal for short-range shooting

About Vortex Optics

Vortex Optics is owned by a family of American veterans in Wisconsin.

Founded in 2002, the Vortex Optical Company has succeeded by looking into what their customers REALLY wanted.

By looking at the products currently in the market, they were able to figure out what needs to be fixed and upgraded.

With this practice, they established themselves as one of the leaders in scopes and firearm accessories.

They are also famous for their Vortex VIP Warranty, which promises unlimited, lifetime service for any problems with their products.

We also talk more about this brand in our Vortex versus Aimpoint guide if you’re interested to learn more about them.

Is Vortex Viper Made in the USA?

While the Viper line is designed in the USA, it is manufactured in the Philippines.

Vortex Viper HS-T Review

The Vortex Viper HST 4-16×44 is, overall, an amazing scope.

Let’s delve deeper to understand why it deserves this score.

Overall Rating: 4.7 out of 5 Stars

Construction – 5/5

The Vortex Viper HST 4 16×44 is made of a single solid block of aircraft-grade aluminum with a matte black finish to reduce glare.

This strong aluminum also has a hard-anodized finish for further protection and durability.

The lenses themselves have ArmorTek coating, protecting them from dirt, scratches and other damage. 

All lens elements move smoothly even when bumped with the Precision-Glide Erector System with O-ring. 

The entire scope is shockproof and can withstand recoil, even for long-range applications that involve heavier calibers and more impact.

As the entire scope is O-ring sealed and argon purged, it is completely fog proof and waterproof.

You’ll be hard-pressed to find a more durable scope at this price point!

Weight – 4.5/5

The Vortex Viper HST 4-16×44 weighs 1.3 lbs.

While this may seem pretty heavy, this weight is actually quite light for a scope of the Viper’s size.

Adjustments – 5/5

This rifle scope features maximum windage and elevation turret rotations of 75 MOA.

Its elevation turrets are capable of accurate holds at extended ranges, and adjustments can be made using either .25 MOA clicks or .1 MRAD clicks.

The tactical-style turrets themselves use a precision-force spring system for maximum repeatability.

A great feature of this rifle scope is the CRS zero stop which makes returning to zero quick and easy.

To use this zero stop, all you need to do is uncap the turrets before adding the included shims, which will raise the turrets to return them to zero. 

However, the adjustment features don’t end there!

It also has a radius bar fiberoptic turret rotation indicator that gives you a customizable rotational stop that can be used as a tactile point of reference for turret rotations. 

These are especially useful when making adjustments to drift correction and holdover.

Glass Quality – 5/5

This rifle scope has some of the BEST glass clarity and color fidelity we have seen in scopes of this price point.

The glass is treated with multiple coatings for enhanced light gathering capability and extra-low dispersion. 

It makes use of XD lens elements with XR coating for an anti-reflective finish to help you really see your point of impact. 

All in all, the great glass results in clear and bright image quality for easy targeting and shooting. 

Reticle – 4/5

The Vortex Viper HS-T 4 16 x 44 has a VMR-1 MOA reticle.

A VMR-1 reticle is a simple, “no-frills” hashmark-based reticle on the second focal plane gives accurate holds at extended ranges.

While it is most effective for moving targets and wind, it is not entirely consistent throughout all magnification settings.

Its effectiveness varies with the magnification setting.

One drawback to this VMR-1 MOA reticle, too, is that it is not illuminated.

However, the Vortex Viper HST 4-16×44 makes up for this with a reflective quality that helps enhance visibility.

Magnification – 5/5

The magnification power on this scope is quite incredible for its price.

The 4-16x magnification range allows you to shoot at various distances.

You can easily opt for a wide field of view or high magnification with this range. 

When using the 16x magnification level, you can make shots as far as 800 yards. 

It also has a fast-focus eyepiece that allows for a sharp reticle and quick target acquisition. 

Parallax – 5/5

This comes with a side focus parallax adjustment that allows you to adjust it for your required distance.

However, if you don’t see the point of parallax adjustment, it also gives you the option to just remove it completely.

The side focus parallax adjustment is good for 50 yards up to infinity.

Eye Box and Eye Relief – 4/5

The Viper HS-T gives you 4 inches of eye relief, which is more than sufficient to handle the recoil of most firearms.

The 30 mm tube allows for a forgiving eye box that is good for most applications, including hunting and target shooting.

Warranty – 5/5

The Vortex Viper HS-T 4-16 x 44 is covered by the famous Vortex VIP warranty.

This means you can have it repaired or replaced anytime throughout your lifetime, even with no limit, no receipt, and no questions asked.

Take note that this warranty never runs out.

This means that the warranty will still be in place even if the scope is sold to someone else.

If you want to save some money, you can buy a secondhand Viper and still have the peace of mind of a warranty.

Included Accessories

When you buy the Vortex Viper HST 4-16×44, you will get the following in the box along with your scope:

  • Sunshade
  • Flip-up lens caps
  • Lens cloth
  • CRS shims

NOTE: This does NOT come with mounting rings. 

User Reviews

If you don’t believe what we say about the Vortex Viper HST 4-16×44, let’s look at other reviews from real people who have purchased and used this scope.

Testimonies

This user debated between the Viper HST 4-16 x 44 and the Viper PST, but ultimately decided on the Viper HS-T:

“Love this scope! After bore sighting only took about 15 rounds to be dialed in at 200 yards! I would highly recommend this product!! I will for sure be buying more Vortex products in the future for more of my rifles! 10/10 score!” – Anonymous

This reviewer mounted it onto their 338 Lapua and found that it works amazingly despite its affordable price:

“Affordable, yet you can take it to a competition and be competitive with the guys that have the 2k high end scopes. You won’t be disappointed.” – Anonymous

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is the Vortex Viper HS-T 4-16×44 First Focal Plane?

NO.

The Viper HS-T 4- 16 x44 mm rifle scope utilizes the second focal plane (SFP).

If you want a Vortex scope without the second focal plane reticle, we recommend their Viper PST.

The Viper PST is very similar to the HS-T 4-16×44, albeit with a smaller magnification range and a first focal plane reticle.

2. What Does HST Stand For?

“HST” stands for Hunting Shooting Tactical.

This means that it is suited for hunting shooting tactical purposes, making it versatile for hunters and long-range and general shooters.

3. What’s the Difference Between Vortex Viper HST and PST?

The HST series is only available in the SFP configuration.

If you don’t want that, the PST Gen II Series is available in both the second and first focal plane configurations.

With the addition of the first focal plane configuration (FFP), the PST Gen II rifle scopes are better suited for tactical and long-range applications.

Additionally, the PST Gen II series has 6 available models, while the HST series only has 2 available models.

Alternatives to the Vortex Viper HST 4

1. Leupold VX 3HD 4.5-14x50mm

Leupold VX 3HD 4.5-14x50mm

BUYING OPTIONS:
» Best Price on OpticsPlanet «
» Check Price on Amazon «

The Leupold VX 3HD 4.5-14x50mm is very similar to the Viper HS-T, but with better optics.

It has three reticle choices, and one of them is very similar to the VMR 1 MOA reticle found on the Viper HS-T. 

It also has the same eye relief as the Viper and the same dimensions. 

We also have a complete comparison of Leupold and Vortex as scope brands if you’re interested to learn more.

2. Vortex Optics Viper PST Gen II 3-15×44 FFP

Vortex Optics Viper PST Gen II 3-15x44 FFP

BUYING OPTIONS:
» Best Price on OpticsPlanet «
» Check Price on Cabelas «
» Check Price on Brownells «
» Check Price on Amazon «

This is the latest installment in the PST line.

It’s perfect for those who want a Viper but don’t want the SFP configuration.

While the Viper PST is extremely similar to the HS-T 4-16×44, it comes with the addition of an FFP reticle.

HOWEVER, note that this has a higher price tag than the HST.

It also has a narrower magnification range as compared to the Viper HS-T.

3. Bushnell AR Optics 4.5-18×40 (Illuminated Multi-Turret)

Bushnell AR Optics 4.5-18x40 (Illuminated Multi-Turret)

BUYING OPTIONS:
» Best Price on OpticsPlanet «
» Check Price on Cabelas «
» Check Price on Amazon «

This alternative budget scope has an SFP reticle that is very similar in design to the Viper’s VMR-1 reticle with the same great glass.

While most other riflescopes only have one windage correction turret and one elevation correction turret, the Bushnell AR optics scope has five versions of elevation turrets.

Each version can adjust for the bullet drop of various cartridges.

In addition to that, this scope also has a side focus adjustment.

Final Verdict: Is the Vortex Viper HS-T a Great Scope?

YES, it is a GREAT scope!

We highly recommend the Viper HST 4-1 X 44, especially for hunting purposes.

Here’s a summary of why:

  • It utilizes unique technology for easier and more precise adjustments. One such technology is the precision force spring system to allow for fine, easily repeatable adjustments.
  • It also has a CRS zero stop, allowing quick returns to zero in a jiffy.
  • With exceptional color fidelity, extra-low dispersion, and rugged durability, it is a solid and versatile rifle scope that will serve you well for many years and hunts to come. 
  • Best of all, it comes with the signature Vortex VIP warranty to ensure lifetime support and service, no matter what!

You’ll be hard-pressed to find a better quality scope with this magnification range and glass clarity at this price point.

We’d go so far as to say that getting the Vortex Viper HST 4 for your hunting rifles is one of the best hunting tips we can give you!

FINAL TIP: If you’re looking for more top-rated riflescopes, you can take a look at our guide on scopes that cost around $500 for some options.

 

CHANGELOG:

May 16, 2022 - minor content edits

About the author