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Where Are Vortex Scopes Made and Are They Worth It?

Where Are Vortex Scopes Made and Are They Worth It

Whether hunting, bird watching, or law enforcement, Vortex Optics is the way to go!

Vortex offers a wide array of accessories in its product line.

I can vouch for a bunch of Vortex’s products as they have made the experience SUPER enjoyable!

But before you commit to buying any product, is the quality worth the price? 

That leads to the question – where are Vortex scopes made?

Where Are Vortex Optics Made?

Armed soldier looking through scope

The answer to this depends on the scope model! 

Vortex has several production facilities in different countries, with a global supply chain.

Each specializes in various models or parts – from rifle scopes to red dot sights.

The United States Headquarters: Barneveld, Wisconsin

Vortex’s US headquarters contains a large office, a production floor, and shooting ranges.

The US headquarters’ operations are usually related to design, supply chain, and marketing.

It might be in the small village of Barneveld in Wisconsin, but it’s still the headquarters. It also has in-house manufacturing.

Vortex decided to relocate its head office to this area with 60 hectares of a park area to fulfill its vision of making its in-house production.

One of Vortex’s high-end rifle models, Razor® HD AMG, is now manufactured here

I can vouch that this rifle scope is one of the BEST!

But other premium riflescopes, binoculars, and range-finding devices are also manufactured in the USA.

Vortex: Made in Japan

Certain Vortex scopes, like many Razor scopes and lenses, are made in Japan.

Some of these models include the Golden Eagle HD and the Razor® HD (including the HD LH and D Gen II-E riflescopes).

The Japanese facility also has high-end lenses and components for other Vortex rifle scopes.

For instance, Vortex Razor® HD AMG is made in the US, but its Japan-made lenses have a higher image quality. 

Japan never fails to wow me with its quality, so it’s no surprise Vortex manufactures most of its high-end products in Japan!

Vortex: Quality in China

“Made in China.”

I’ll admit that that was a phrase that usually shooed me away. However, I now learned that they’re supervised by Japanese optics experts!

That gives me a little reassurance on the scopes’ performance.

These people help maintain CONSISTENT quality control. They also help create a delivery schedule to North America.

Vortex’s facility in China manufactures specific rifle scope models.

Some of them include the Crossfire II, the Diamondback, and the Diamondback Tactical.

After trying these scopes myself, I can say that the statement “Made in China” is just a matter of fact.

In the case of Vortex Optics, “Made in China” does NOT equate to poor quality.

Vortex in the Philippines

The Philippines have relatively low labor and production costs.

In other words, Vortex can get away with AFFORDABLE yet WELL-MADE rifle scope variants. 

The Philippine facility manufactures the Vortex Viper line. 

Some of these Viper models include the Viper HS series, the Viper HS series (such as HS LR and HST), and the Viper PST Gen II riflescopes.

I’ve tried these products before, and I must the Philippines makes some TOP-TIER quality scopes, scopes that feel like they’re worth a million bucks.

History of Vortex Optics

Vortex Optics logo

Vortex has its roots as a veteran-owned retail store known as Wild Birds Unlimited in 1986.

The founders and couple were Daniel and Margie Hamilton.

The Hamiltons soon realized that binoculars were poorly-made. As a result, customers complained.

Poor coating, heavyweight, short eye relief! The few binoculars that were good were almost-luxury European brands. 

So, the American brand Vortex entered the sporting optics market in 2002. And, of course, they focused on binoculars.

Vortex Optics bought high-quality binoculars in bulk from international brands.

Then they resold them as “Eagle Optics” to local stores in the United States and in Canada.

Vortex Scopes Made in the USA

American flag

There aren’t many Vortex scopes made in the USA.

But the few products made here are some of their BEST. Their headquarters in the USA is, after all, where their primary team works. 

Vortex Razor HD AMG

The Vortex Razor HD AMG rifle scope is considered the TOP TIER of Vortex scope offerings.

It’s one of the few Vortex scopes assembled in the US, but the lens is made in Japan.

This FFP scope is one of my favorites for long-range shooting, hunting, and tactical shooting.

Vortex boasts that it can handle any mission with precision – from long-range competition to the most critical tactical applications.

And after judging this scope for myself, I can say they have every right to brag about that,

The Razor HD AMG includes locking turrets, integrated L-Tec zero stop, and an integrated locking illumination dial.

Plus, it’s SLEEK with a low weight of 28.8 ounces.

China-Made Vortex Scopes

Chinese flag

The Chinese Vortex line is some of their more entry-level scopes, but don’t let that fool you! The value of every rifle scope here is worth much MORE than what’s on the price tag. 

Let’s see what the Chinese Vortex lineup has to offer!

Vortex Copperhead Scopes

The Vortex Copperhead was one of my go-tos when I was still a beginner with little money to spend.

I recommend it to anyone who wants to get their feet wet in the optics world!

Their red dot sight line makes precision easier for newcomers and experts alike.

Vortex Crossfire II Scopes

Vortex Crossfire II scopes are another famous entry-level Vortex line. They replaced the first-generation model when it was discontinued.

The Crossfire II rifle scopes boast a forgiving eye relief. Since you don’t have to keep your eyes that close anymore, shooting is FASTER and easier!

Plus, their capped turrets aid in precision. The tube size can range from 30mm to 1 inch.

Their materials include aircraft-grade aluminum, which is SOLID, LIGHT, and not likely to corrode.

Hence, the Crossfire II rifle scopes are more durable. I can take them out in the rain and snow and have it feel like brand new the next day.

Vortex Strike Eagle Scopes

The Vortex Strike Eagle short-range scopes are focused on lower magnification ranges. 

Furthermore, the Vortex Strike Eagle lineup originally had higher magnifications, but that was eventually phased out. 

Vortex Diamondback Scopes

The Vortex Diamondback scope is SUPERIOR to the Crossfire II series. This scope is THE ONE for me, among Vortex’s many choices.

Though the Diamondbacks are known to be cheap, they have better-quality glass. 

Plus, it’s waterproof and fog-proof!

It can withstand the recoil of even the LARGEST caliber rifles! Despite the robustness, it stays the same size even when you adjust the magnification. 

Vortex Diamondback Tactical Scopes: Each Diamondback Tactical scope is targeted toward long-range shooting and tactical shooting.

Most of these Diamondback tactical scopes are FFP, so they’re catered for tactical purposes.

Vortex Scopes Made in Japan

Japanese flag

Ah, made in Japan.

That’s not just where cherry blossoms festivals and anime exist. Every Vortex scope made here is some of the BEST AFFORDABLE optics in the world!

From the Golden Eagle HD to the Razor HD, they’re some of the best I’ve ever used.

Vortex Golden Eagle HD scope

The Golden Eagle HD scope is designed for long-range bench rest and F-class shooting.

I find its glass quality is superior to any rifle scope in the Viper HST and PST series. It has a power range of 15X-60X with a 52 mm objective. 

Razor HD scopes

These riflescopes are designed for long-range distances and shooting.

Each scope here is intended for target hunters who yearn for a top-level hunting scope and maximum eye relief. 

Vortex Razor HD LH

The Vortex Razor HD LH scope is a flagship scope.

Yes, it’s a one-inch tube – meaning it’s lighter, smaller, and cheaper but gives the same value!

It doesn’t have the bells and whistles that much larger 30mm scope models have. But I don’t need that many features when I want to carry light.

They have excellent eye relief too!

Vortex Razor HD Gen II

This scope is the second generation of the HD series.

It has incredibly clear glass and many upgrades, but I admit it’s a tank-heavy scope. The you-get-what-you-pay-for rule applies to this scope.

It features a 34 mm main tube and is designed for long-range shooting and hunting on the AR platform.

It’s available in two versions, but both are the first focal plane scopes.

Though heavy, this scope Vortex offers good eye relief for long days in the field.

Vortex Razor HD Gen II-E

I’ll admit, I was annoyed with the weight of the Razor HD Gen II. So, imagine my excitement when the Gen II-E came out!

The new “E” in this Vortex scope stands for “Enhanced” – it’s much lighter and sleeker!

With this scope, I can enjoy quicker transitions between targets and less tired arms.

It’s designed as the top-level short- to medium-range finders and tactical scope for the AR platform.

Enthusiasts of the AR-15s love it! There’s no need to say that its eye relief is forgiving.

Scopes Made in the Philippines

Philippine flag

From every Viper HS scope to the PST models, they offer capped turrets, different rifle scope types, and fantastic eye relief. 

Vortex Viper Scopes

The Vortex Viper series is SUPERIOR in quality to the Vortex Diamondback series. 

Viper HD is the spotting scope and binoculars, and the Viper PST and HS are Vortex rifle scopes.

The Hunting Shooting Tactical (HST) scopes are ideal for hunting big game and varmints. They’re also lighter than the PST scopes.

Precision Shooting Tactical (PST) scopes, meanwhile, have both FFP (first focal plane) and SFP (second focal plane) variants.

PST scopes come with illumination, so the Viper PST series is ideal for low-light conditions.

These Vortex scopes come with red dot sights for even better precision

Many of these Vortex scopes are built on a 30 mm tube with exposed capped turrets.

These are some of the scopes.

Vortex Viper HS Scopes

This mid-ranged Viper HS scope is designed for hunting. It also features slightly better glass than the original Viper line. 

Vortex Viper HS LR

This Viper HS LR scope is intended for long-range hunting. The acronym Viper HS LR means “Hunting-Shooting Long-Range.”

True enough, my long-range sessions have been quite enjoyable with this scope!

It offers models in the First Focal Plane and Second Focal Plane configurations.

But, like many products in that price range, the edges are a little dark. But it does work well in low-light situations.

Vortex Viper HST

The Viper is designed for multi-purpose long-range shooting, hunting, and tactical-based shooting.

Its uses are quite versatile, which is why I enjoy using this scope.

However, because of its purpose, it’s only available in SFP (second focal plane) configurations.

Vortex Viper PST Gen II Scopes

This Vortex scope features even better features than the previous Vortex Viper scopes.

I can tell the company listened to customers and UPGRADED its scopes.

For starters, their capped turrets are impressive, and their eye relief is forgiving.

This is an excellent scope for tactical shooting. I can use it for close-quarters shots AND long-distance precision situations.

They also have an illuminated reticle for low-light shooting.

They’re available with several reticle styles because every shooter has their individual tastes and needs.

Is a Vortex Scope Worth It?

Man shooting

YES, definitely!

It’s a HIGH-QUALITY scope brand, and you’re guaranteed a great scope. It doesn’t matter if you’re a firearms fan or a birdwatcher enthusiast.

You’ll find that the quality is worth the price – if not more. 

Here are a few reasons why Vortex’s scopes are WORTH IT!

The Vortex Scope Quality Is Amazing

Vortex products offer great scopes, whether they’re made in Japan or China.

The company emphasizes that Vortex scopes follow their product engineers’ specifications.

Their quality control is BUILT into the manufacturing of the rifle scopes. That being said, it is an actual you-get-what-you-pay-for situation.

Their Crossfire II line might be the best you can get in the $200-$300 range. But they’re still the quality of $200-$300 products.

Impressive Warranty and Customer Service

The Vortex warranty is considered one of the TOP THREE scope warranties in the market.


In the optics business, their scopes are guaranteed to last long. Whether by their manufacture or by the company’s integrity to keep its promise, they will last LONG. 

Here’s how Vortex’s website describes its warranty: 

VIP stands for a Very Important Promise to you, our customer. We will repair or replace your Vortex® product in the event it becomes damaged or defective—at no charge to you. If we cannot repair your product, we will replace it with a product in perfect working order of equal or better physical condition. You see, it doesn’t matter how it happened, whose fault it was or where you purchased it. If you ever have a problem, no matter the cause, we promise to take care of you.

That’s not limited to US citizens. 

They provide their warranty WORLDWIDE as long as the Vortex Authorized Distributor imports them. Make sure you can deal with the shipping fees.

If you experience any problems, you can always try contacting their customer service or solving issues through their troubleshooting page.

Variety of Optics and Large Range of Products

One of the reasons why I love Vortex is their diverse product range. There is something for everyone!

As long as you need a scope, they have a model for every occasion! Plus, they have different series that range in features and functions. 

Competition shooters, precision shooting? Long-range hunting? There’s Strike Eagle, and there are PST models.

Spotting scopes and something for indoor shooting ranges? You bet Vortex doesn’t just have a scope for that but related accessories too! 

Frequently Asked Questions

Man adjusting scope

Below, I answer some questions you might have in mind about Vortex scopes! 

Where Are Leupold Scopes Made?

Leupold models are made in the USA, Japan, and China. Their rifle scopes are all US-made – in their Beaverton, Oregon facility. 

I sang praises for Vortex, but many of Leupold’s models are some of the best in the business for rifles. 

As expected, their high-end binoculars are manufactured in Japan. 

Meanwhile, China creates Leupold’s compact, affordable, and entry-level models.

Where is the Vortex Diamondback Scope Made?

The Vortex Diamondback scopes is made in China.

This specific Vortex scope is considered a step up to the Crossfire II series with improvements in terms of glass and features.

Who Owns Vortex Optics?

The Hamilton family owns Vortex Optics!  Founders Daniel and Margie Hamilton started Wild Birds Unlimited in 1986. 

Since then and up until now, they have kept the business within the Hamilton family.

At first, the humble store focused on selling bird feed and bird-watching binoculars. They eventually ventured deeper into the market for high-binoculars.

Their imported binoculars were sold under their branding Eagle Optics. With their success, they saw marketing potential.

They decided to open Vortex Optics in 2002.

Are the Vortex Scopes Made in China Any Good?

Yes, the scopes made in China are reliable and suitable for beginners!

Despite being cheaper that other models, you can be assured that Vortex ensures these scopes are built with high quality performance in mind.

Additionally, because they are cheaper, you may still encounter a few minor issues that other high-end scopes do not have.

In short, you get what you paid for.

Where Are Vortex Binoculars Made?

Vortex has different facilities that produce binoculars in China, Japan, Korea, the Philippines, and Taiwan, each specializing in different parts.

The high-end ones are mostly made in Japan because of the higher standards.


Scope and bullets

Vortex Optics is no longer just known as a brand that offers sporting products. Now, it’s a lifestyle brand that prioritizes quality and functionality.

Their dedication and commitment to customers and quality created a loyal following.

And for a good reason – their scope options are excellent.

Vortex provides a wide range of quality products – from rings to rifle scopes.

It’s crazy that they have a LARGE selection – more than what various brands of lower quality have.

So, even if your Vortex scope is made in the Philippines or China, you can bet it’s no laughing stock of a product.

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