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Vortex Viper PST Gen II 5-25×50 Review: Is It Worth It?

Vortex Viper PST Gen II 5-25x50 Review

It’s no secret that Vortex makes awesome scopes, and the Vortex Viper PST is no exception!

If you are wondering if this scope is the right one for you, you’ve come to the right place!

I’ll explain all the important details in this Vortex Viper PST Gen II 5-25×50 review. I’ll talk about its pros and cons as well as the build, ease of use, performance, and pricing.

Overview of Vortex Viper PST Gen II 5-25×50

Vortex Viper PST Gen II 5-25x50

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The Vortex Viper PST Gen II is a first focal plane scope for long-range shooting with many features up the sleeve that allow it to reach those distances.

The Vortex scope comes with an MRAD reticle, 50mm objective lens, 5x-25x magnification, XD fully multi-coated glass, waterproof, shockproof, and fog proof.

These features all work together to give the Viper PST Gen II great long-range capabilities.

However, the VIP warranty is the standout feature compared to other scopes in the same category.

This is an unlimited, unconditional lifetime warranty that ensures you can use your scope FOR LIFE without worrying about it at all.

Main Features and Specifications

The illuminated MRAD reticle on this scope is located on the first focal plane, meaning the reticle stays constant with every magnification level you’re at.

The controls for the illuminated reticle are located near the parallax adjustment on the left side of the Viper.

It also comes with a large 50mm objective lens, which is crucial in nighttime shooting or low-light performance.

The PST comes with an extra low dispersion glass (XD glass), giving you fantastic CLARITY and SHARPNESS.

The tactical-style turrets on the Viper include a windage knob and elevation turret, which comes with a zero-stop feature.

You also get fog, shock, and waterproof features also ensure that it won’t break down in less-than-ideal environmental situations.

  • Has zero-stop technology
  • Simple but useful MRAD reticle
  • First focal plane
  • Easy-to-turn knobs
  • Smooth adjustment clicks
  • Illuminated reticle
  • Generous 3.4-inch eye relief
  • Zero stop feature can be confusing for beginners
  • Quite heavy
  • Scope caps don't come shipped with the optic

Full Review of Viper PST Gen II 5-25×50 Rifle Scope

Let’s get into the full review of the Vortex Viper PST Gen II scope. I’ll discuss the build and design, ease of use, performance, and pricing.

By the end, I’ll give a rating out of five stars and give a recommendation.

Build and Design

Build and design icon

The aircraft-grade aluminum that makes up most of this build, including the single-piece tube, is made of good quality.

When I held it, it felt STURDY and like it could take a beating!

It definitely can because it’s fog, water, and shockproof, making lugging it around worry-free.

I must add, however, that the scope is quite heavy.

It wasn’t a huge problem, especially since I was shooting long-range, meaning I didn’t have to carry it too much.

However, the best durability feature of this scope isn’t even physical!

The UNLIMITED warranty on this scope and all Vortex scopes make it a no-brainer for those that are hard on their scopes.

This is a fantastic scope for people who need a durable workhorse for long-range.

PRO TIP: I recommend getting scope caps for this optic, as it doesn’t come shipped with any. This will keep the optic glass clean and scratch-free for an unobstructed sight picture.

Ease of Use

Ease of use icon

The Vortex Viper PST Gen II is mixed regarding ease of use. Eye relief is generous at over three inches.

On the one hand, the reticle it comes with isn’t too busy and has easy to read Christmas tree-style design, making moving target holdoffs and windage adjustments easier.

The RZR zero stop is where it gets a bit complicated.

While it is a nice feature and convenient to use once set up, the process of setting it up isn’t.

Adjusting the zero stop was quite difficult, and it may take some getting used to. I’ll try to break it down into easy-to-understand steps.

  1. The first step is to rotate the turret clockwise until you feel a hard stop. Next, loosen three set screws that hold the zero stop.
  2. You will need an Allen wrench to unscrew them, which will allow you to pull the knob up and off.
  3. Afterward, more set screws on the turret lock need to be loosened. When this is done, shoot and adjust elevation until you reach your preferred zero.
  4. Next, you need to put it back together. Tighten the lock screws, and slide the zero stop back on.
  5. Align the zero/radius bar with the zero mark on the scope body. Finally, tighten those set screws, and the zero stop is adjusted.

Confusing, right? As you can see, it’s complicated to even explain the setup process for this feature.

Doing this process once should be good until the scope loses zero, but it may be daunting for beginners.


Performance icon

This rifle scope is one of the BEST for long-range shooting.

For starters, the Vortex Viper PST has TOP-TIER glass quality.

The XD glass makes long-range shots easy, as it almost looks like I’m looking at the images with my naked eye.

I could see even the finest details in your target, thanks to the clear optical clarity, color fidelity, and better light transmission.

You can also adjust parallax focus through the adjustment knob, which goes from 23m to infinity, making shooting in low magnification or high magnification SHARP.

Not to mention, low-light shooting scenarios are also made EASY, with the larger 50mm objective lens and illuminated reticle.

I can just enough light transmission that I can still see in the dark!

The illumination dial can adjust the brightness and color of the reticle, which is a fantastic feature to have when target shooting or hunting in the late afternoons.

The turrets work SMOOTHLY even with wet and gloved hands. Zero stop is great when set up properly for quick follow-up shots on target.


Price tag icon

The Vortex Viper PST Gen II has an MSRP of roughly $1399; that’s AFFORDABLE compared to other choices.

In my opinion, it is great value for money, especially when considering the great customer service and unlimited warranty Vortex Optics provides.

Optics with this long-range performance usually cost more, sometimes above $2000. Many shooters will be happy with the value of their purchase.

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

4 out of 5 stars banner

About Vortex Optics

Vortex Optics logo

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

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

Vortex makes scope products with high-quality glass and is known for top-tier customer service.

In addition, Vortex offers an unlimited, unconditional lifetime VIP warranty on all its products, meaning 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.

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

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

Things to Consider Before Buying a Scope

Sniper in camouflage

There are two major considerations you should make before buying any rifle optic. The first one is the 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!

The other consideration you should consider before buying a rifle optic is whether you’ll use ALL the features of 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.

Frequently Asked Questions

Group of hunters

After reading this review on the Vortex Viper PST Gen II, you might still have some questions about this scope, Vortex Optics, or how it compares to other optics.

I’ve answered the most commonly asked questions about this scope below.

What is the Difference Between Vortex Viper PST and HST?

The main difference between the two is the reticle on the optics.

The Viper PST comes in either second or first focal plane, while the HST only comes in SFP.

Additionally, the HST doesn’t come with a brightened reticle, meaning that it won’t perform as well as the PST in darker situations.

Is Vortex Strike Eagle Better than Viper?

Which optic is better depends on the range you’re shooting at.

The Viper is better for longer-range engagements, while the Strike Eagle is better up close and at medium range.

This is because the Strike Eagle doesn’t have as good of an optics quality as the Viper series. The clarity isn’t as good, so that the reticle may get lost in the busy background.

The Strike Eagle starts at a lower zoom, making for faster target re-engagement after each shot at closer range.

Finally, the Viper is 50% more expensive than the Strike Eagle because Viper uses newer and better technologies.

CONSIDER: If you’re looking for top optical quality for the price, both Vortex and Leupold make great products. Check them both out before making a purchase decision.

Is Vortex Viper PST Good for Hunting?

The PST is only good for hunting if it isn’t snowing or raining hard.

When it snows, the optics quality is so high that it zooms in and can make out the individual snowflakes falling past the scope!

However, while this may be cool to look at, this can distract the shooter from the target and crowd the reticle, which isn’t ideal.

Therefore, I recommend using this only at medium range if weather conditions aren’t ideal.

Why Is a First Focal Plane Optic Good?

It’s good for shooting with a variable zoom optic at long distances. This is because the reticle will be accurate at different zoom levels.

With an FFP optic, the reticle changes size in proportion to its magnification or zoom level. While it can be harder to see at lower zoom, it’s better for long range.

What Does Zero Stop Do?

Scope turret

Zero stop is a technology used on Vortex Optics that allows a shooter to return to their original shooting aim easier after each shot.

This feature is helpful in competition shooting and hunting.

How Does an Illuminated Reticle Help at Night?

The illumination helps distinguish the targeting system from the background. When it’s darker, black markings are harder to differentiate from the background.

Having the reticle lit up makes it easier to see and aim. This is especially helpful for night hunting.

My Final Verdict: Is It Worth It?

Man looking through scopes

In my opinion, YES!

The Vortex Viper PST Gen II is one of the best price optics, especially regarding durability and optical quality.

The reticle and turrets on this optic make it easy to adjust for elevation and wind, and the zero-stop technology makes getting back on target after shooting easier.

I hope this review made it easier to decide if you’ll pick up this optic. This is the one to get if you want a long-range optic that will last FOR LIFE.

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