Vortex Diamondback Tactical 4-16×44 FFP Scope Review

After spending a year with the Vortex Diamondback Tactical, lets checkout its features and see why it’s such a popular optic choice in the shooting community. 

Vortex

Vortex Diamondback Tactical

Based out of the US, Vortex have built a reputation of making quality optics for every budget. Over many years of shooting and hunting, I have relied on plenty of Vortex products to ring steel and spot game. 

Additionally, Vortex are also known for their ‘VIP’ warranty on all optics they offer. The warranty is for lifetime replacement, no questions asked. This gives me comfort knowing that if I drop a scope, accidentally run over it, I can send it back and get a replacement. 

The brand truly provides optics for every budget. Because not everyone can afford high end scopes on all their setups, it’s good to know there are other options out there.  

The Vortex Diamondback series targets new shooters looking for a capable optic at a low price. The Diamondback’s comes in three variants; 4-12×40, 4-16×44 FFP and 6-24×50 FFP.

Vortex Diamondback Tactical
Vortex Diamondback Tactical

I have been using the 4-16×44 First Focal Plane variant with MRAD adjustments. Let’s dive into the features on the scope.

Construction

The Diamondback is made of a 30mm aircraft grade aluminium tube and feels lightweight but sturdy. Its coated in a satin black anodizing that looks sleek and feels smooth.

The optic is made waterproof, so it won’t get damaged if you get caught in a downpour. 

An added extra is that the optic is fogproof. In the factory its been purged with nitrogen gas which mitigates the lens from fogging up when exposed to quick changes in temperature. 

Overall, the optic gives confidence that it can hold it’s own in the field.

Glass

The biggest surprise for the Diamondback coming in at such a low price point, is the quality of the glass. I can still remember first looking through it and being blown away with the optical clarity and brightness. 

Vortex Diamondback Tactical
800 meters / 874 yards

Having extensively used some high-end optics, I wasn’t optimistic on the quality of the glass in the Diamondback due to its price, but was pleasantly surprised.

The Vortex Diamondback shines here with sharp image quality, even at longer ranges.

Magnification

Vortex Diamondback Tactical

The magnification for this Diamondback scope is shown as ‘4-16×44’. For those new to optics, the 4-16 part shows the power of the magnification of the scope. Meaning the scope has a variable zoom and can increase magnification 4x all the way to 16x. 

The ‘x44’ at the end shows how large the objective lens (front) of the scope is. A bigger objective lens lets in more light and helps create a brighter image. 

The magnification adjustment collar on the rear body of the scope is raised and features grooves to assist changing the magnification.

The adjustment collar has always been a bit stiffer than I would like but it hasn’t caused any problems. 

Turrets

The scope has exposed target turrets for windage, elevation and parallax adjustment. The turrets are easy to manipulate and move with the right amount of tension. Adjusting the turrets, they made an audible click to help audibly keep track of adjustments.

Vortex Diamondback Tactical

The parallax adjustment doesn’t make a noise however provides a smooth rotation between distance settings.

Vortex Diamondback Tactical

The turret caps can easily be undone with a screwdriver or coin to set the scopes zeroed elevation and windage. 

Vortex Diamondback Tactical
Removing the windage turret
Vortex Diamondback Tactical
Changing the reading of the scopes zeroed in windage back to zero

Reticle 

The scope comes in both MRAD and MOA variants of the EBR-2C reticle.

The EBR-2C reticle provides excellent hashmarks but can appear cluttered if you are new to target shooting. However, the Christmas tree style reticle provides excellent hold over capabilities.

Vortex Diamondback Tactical

As this is a cheaper scope on offer from Vortex, it doesn’t come with an illuminated reticle feature. This wont be a problem if you are planning on doing most of your shooting during daylight hours. I mostly look for an illuminated reticle on hunting scopes, where I might end up taking a shot late afternoon or early morning.

Vortex Diamondback Tactical

Weight

The scope weighs in at 23.1oz or 654grams. This is lightweight compared to most scopes on the market and its a strength for the Diamondback. 

Being lightweight helps keep the overall weight of a rifle down which is handy for hunting rifle. 

In the Field

This scope continues to perform. It’s mostly been used to sling .223 rounds out to 500 meters and has done its job perfectly. 

Vortex Diamondback Tactical

For a hunting application, the Christmas tree style reticle can be a little busy and I much prefer to use a more simple reticle. A simpler reticle makes it easier to quickly acquire and engage your target.

Conclusion 

If this scope fits your price point, then it’s a perfect match of performance Vs price. For any shooter, but particularly the beginner looking to get into long range shooting, the Diamondback Tactical series are a great option. 

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Bright glass
  • Waterproof
  • Lightweight
  • VIP Warranty

Cons

  • No Zero-Stop
  • Stiff Magnification Adjustment

Vortex Diamondback Tactical

Specifications

Product Weight (KG)0.65
SpecificationsTurret Style Tall Exposed Tactical Adjustment Graduation 0.1 MRAD Travel per Rotation 6 MRAD Parallax Setting 20 yards to Infinity
Barcode875874009608
Magnification4-16x
Reticle TypeEBR-2C
Lens CoatingFully-Multicoated
Eye Relief (mm)97
Exit Pupil(mm)11 – 2.75
IlluminationNon-Illuminated
WarrantyLimited Lifetime Warranty

Further Reading

Mounting the Vortex Diamondback Tactical to Your Rifle

Don’t forget when mounting the scope to your rifle that you will need some tools and equipment to get the job done. These pieces of equipment aren’t 100% necessary to mounting a scope but they do make the job a lot easier.

1. Torque Wrench

A torque wrench makes sure that the exact amount of pressure is used to tighten up your scope rings. If you over tighten them, it can damage the optic and it wont function correctly.

Wheeler Torque Wrench

2. Gun Rest

A gun rest also helps keeping your rifle level when working on it. This has been one of the best purchases ever for the workbench as it helps with cleaning the rifle also, by having the rifle upright and steady.

Tiptop Gun Butler

Looking After the Optic

After spending cash on your optic it’s a good idea to look at some accessories that will help look after it in the long run.

1. Scope Caps

To keep the glass clean and free from scratches, scope caps help prevent scratches and dirt etc from getting onto the glass.

Vortex Scope Caps

2. Scope Cover

A scope cover is also recommended, especially for hunters as it adds extra protection from the weather and helps prevent damage.

Vortex Scope Cover

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