Best Vortex Scope in 2024, Tested and Reviewed

Last updated on July 7th, 2024

When it comes to rifle scopes, there’s one name that rises above the rest like a Ferrari on a race  track, Vortex Optics. Now, I’ve not just seen these scope in action. I’ve practically dived in headfirst, owning nearly every model they’ve ever produced over the years. This has given me a rather comprehensive perspective on Vortex scopes. And believe me, they’ve earned their stripes in the world of hunting and sports shooting with their performance and surprisingly reasonable prices.

Vortex scopes cover the whole spectrum. From the kind of thing you’d stick on a backyard air rifle to the sort of kit that could help you win a long distance shooting competition. It’s almost impossible to find another optics manufacturer that offers such an extensive range.

So, let’s check out all that’s on offer from Vortex. We’ll dissect the features that make Vortex scopes an attractive option in the optics world and see how they stack up against another revered brand, Leupold. We’ll also unravel the mystery of where their different variants are made. It’s more interesting than you might think.

Vortex Optics

Are Vortex Rifle Scopes Good?

Let me put it this way, if Vortex rifle scopes were cars, they’d range from a reliable Ford Fiesta to a top of the line Bentley. Yes, they’ve got something for everyone, from the budget conscious novice to the seasoned competition shooter with a taste for the finer things. Their drive for innovation and customer satisfaction is clear in the avalanche of glowing reviews from happy owners around the world.

One of the most attractive features of owning a Vortex scope is the ability to pair your budget with a quality optic. These scopes are crafted from great materials, built to endure the harshest environments, whether it’s sweltering heat or freezing cold. Many Vortex scopes are fog proof and waterproof, providing great reliability out in the wild. This dependability and wallet friendly pricing make Vortex a great choice when you’re in the market for a new rifle scope.

Vortex Optics

Are Vortex as Good as Leupold Scopes?

Vortex scopes are the kings of value, delivering superb performance without emptying your bank account. They’re the smart choice for those who want great performance without selling a kidney. Leupold, on the other hand, is the connoisseur’s choice, famed for their outstanding glass quality and optical performance. If you’re a hunter or precision shooter who prefers US manufactured and demands nothing but the clearest, sharpest sight picture, Leupold is a great go to.

When it comes to rifle optics, comparing Vortex to Leupold is like comparing a Porsche to a Lamborghini, both have passionate fans who will defend their brand to the last round. It’s a fierce debate, and for good reason. Both Vortex and Leupold produce exceptional rifle scopes, but they each shine in different arenas.

So, which is better? It all boils down to what you need. If you’re after a perfect blend of performance and affordability, Vortex is your best bet. But if you’re willing to pay a premium for better optical quality, then Leupold should be your choice.

Where Are Vortex Rifle Scopes Made?

Asking where things are made a bit like asking if your favourite beer is brewed in a local brewery or mass produced in some giant factory. Vortex rifle scopes are no different, with curious enthusiasts eager to know their origins. The company’s nerve centre is in Wisconsin US of A, where they design, engineer, and assemble a good chunk of their optics in a state of the art facility.


But there is a twist, to cater to every budget, some Vortex optics are produced in the Philippines and China. Before you raise an eyebrow, let me assure you, Vortex’s reputation for top notch quality control and craftsmanship remains impeccable, regardless of where the scopes are made. So, whether it’s from the heartland of America or overseas, a Vortex scope has always been a mark of excellence for me.

Optic SeriesMade In
Vortex CrossfireChina
Vortex VenomChina
Vortex Diamondback TacticalChina
Vortex Strike EagleChina
Vortex PST Gen IIPhilippines
Vortex HSTPhilippines
Vortex Razor Gen IIIJapan
Vortex AMG (Discontinued!)USA

Vortex’s Range of Rifle Scopes

One of the key reasons behind Vortex’s popularity is its diverse lineup of rifle scopes catering to various shooting disciplines such as long distance target shooting, hunting, and tactical use.

For precision enthusiasts and long-range shooters, Vortex’s long-range scopes deliver impressive clarity and tracking capabilities. They often feature large objective lenses, high magnification, and decent turret systems for making precise adjustments. Below are each of the individual series of optics on offer from Vortex.

Vortex Optics

Best Budget Scope: Vortex Crossfire Series

Kicking things off with the Vortex Crossfire series, the bread and butter of budget optics. These scopes are a favourite among rimfire and air rifle shooters, and for good reason. But don’t be fooled into thinking they’re only for the small stuff. I know plenty of guys who strap these onto larger calibers like .308 and .30-06 without a second thought.

Now, let’s be clear, these aren’t your high end or even mid range scopes. They’re made in China and won’t win any awards for performance in low light conditions. But they’re dead easy to use, offer solid eye relief, and provide clear vision within the 100-200 yard range. At this price, you’re getting a lot of bang for your buck. In the world of budget optics, the Crossfire series is a no brainer.

Vortex Optics


Vortex Crossfire 1-4×24

Entry level and affordable LPVO


Vortex Crossfire 2-7×32

Close range optic with a low profile.


Vortex Crossfire 3-9×50

Large objective lens for better light transmission


Vortex Crossfire 3-12×56

Extra large objective lens for better FOV and light transmission.


Vortex Crossfire 4-12×40

Popular rimfire optic with good magnification range.


Vortex Crossfire 4-16×50

One of the most popular optics on the market. Decent magnification and great pricepoint.


Vortex Crossfire 6-24×50

Long distance choice for those on a budget.

Entry Level Long Range Scope: Vortex Venom 5-25×56


If you are new to long distance shooting, one of the main things you want is repeatability. Vortex has delivered that with the Vortex Venom 5-25×56. This feature packed and budget minded scope comes with all the essentials for long distance shooting, making it more affordable to get you behind a rifle and start sending rounds downrange. The Venom 5-25×56 offers a 5-25x magnification range, a 56mm objective lens, and a 34mm tube. It features Vortex’s RevStop Zero System, which ensures that the shooter can return to their zero settings effortlessly, a crucial feature for competitive shooting.

The Venom’s first focal plane EBR-7C reticle allows for accurate holdovers at any magnification level, making it ideal for precise long range shooting. The scope is also shockproof, waterproof, and nitrogen gas purged, ensuring durability and clarity under various environmental conditions. The MSRP for the Vortex Venom 5-25×56 FFP is $699.99, but it can often be found for around $500, offering an exceptional value for its capabilities. This scope makes high quality, long range shooting accessible to more shooters, combining premium features with affordability and reliability. Full Vortex Venom review available here.

Vortex Venom Optic


Vortex Venom 5-25×56

Great ergonomics, easy to shoot

Vortex Diamondback Tactical Series

When it comes to the Vortex Diamondback Tactical Series, what you’re looking at is a bit of a gem in the world of tactical rifle scopes. Built for quick adjustments and resilience, these scopes are tough. They’re made to withstand the sort of punishment you’d expect from a day out in the wilderness or a big shooting range session.

Let’s dive into the specs of The Diamondback. The Diamondback Tactical scopes, like the 3-9×40, feature exposed tactical turrets designed for rapid adjustments. These turrets track well and snap back to zero every time with a reassuring click. The scope offers a magnification range of 3-9x, an objective lens diameter of 40mm, and a tube size of 1 inch. It’s lightweight, weighing just 15.9 ounces, and has a length of 12.5 inches. You get a field of view from 33.7 to 11.3 feet at 100 yards, and a comfortable eye relief of 3.9 inches, making it a fantastic budget friendly option for various shooting applications​.

On the more advanced end, we have the Diamondback Tactical 6-24×50 FFP. This scope brings first focal plane performance to the masses. With a magnification range of 6-24x and a 50mm objective lens, it’s perfect for long range shooting. The 30mm tube, combined with tactical turrets that offer up to 65 MOA of adjustment for both windage and elevation, means you can dial in your shots with accuracy. It’s a bit heftier at 24.6 ounces and measures 14.28 inches in length, but that’s a small price to pay for the level of precision it offers. It also has a parallax adjustment from 10 yards to infinity, ensuring clarity whether you’re close up or stretching out to that 1000 yard mark​.

What sets these scopes apart, besides their construction and tactical turrets, is their value. You’re getting performance and features that, quite frankly, should cost more than they do. The Diamondback Tactical scopes manage to bring the essentials of high end optics to the budget conscious shooter, making them a popular choice among both novices and experienced marksmen.

In summary, the Vortex Diamondback Tactical Series is about as reliable and feature packed as you can get without having to remortgage your house. Whether you’re at the range or out in the field, these scopes will get the job done and then some. Full Vortex Diamondback Tactical review available here.


Vortex Diamondback Tactical 4-12×40

Versatile optic suitable for hunting and tactical use


Vortex Diamondback Tactical 4-16×44

Mid to long-range shooting and hunting. Good low-light performance


Vortex Diamondback Tactical 6-24×50

Larger objective lens with better light transmission

Overall Long Distance Favourite: Vortex Strike Eagle Series

Vortex Optics

One of my all time favourite optics is the Vortex Strike Eagle. It’s got more features than a Swiss army knife,  zero stop, parallax adjustment, illuminated reticle, and locking turrets that click with the satisfaction of a luxury car door. It even comes with a throw lever. And those lenses? Fully multi coated, because anything less just wouldn’t work as well.

Now, here’s the kicker, all these features don’t come with a price tag that rivals a small island nation’s GDP. In fact, it’s under $1000 which in the world of optics is a bit like finding a Picasso at a garage sale. The Vortex Strike Eagle isn’t just a scope, it’s a statement in the shooting world. A statement that says, ‘Yes, you can have it all without mortgaging your soul.’ And if that’s not enough, there’s a lifetime warranty thrown in.

People rave about it, preferring its bang for buck over even its pricier sibling, the Vortex PST Gen II. And yes, it’s made in China, where they seem to have mastered the art of making things that punch well above their weight, especially in the last 5 years. So, whether you’re a sharpshooter on a budget or just someone who appreciates a good deal, the Vortex Strike Eagle 5-25×56 is your ticket to hitting targets for a great price. Full Vortex Strike Eagle review available here.


Vortex Strike Eagle 1-6×24

Versatile optic suitable for hunting and tactical use


Vortex Strike Eagle 1-8×24

Mid to long-range shooting and hunting. Good low-light performance


Vortex Strike Eagle 3-18×44

Larger objective lens with better light transmission


Vortex Strike Eagle 5-25×56

Mid to long-range shooting and hunting. Good low-light performance

Vortex HS Series

If your our hunting, rifle in hand, ready to seize the day and bag that elusive trophy, the last thing you need is a scope that decides to play “let’s mess with the settings” because it got snagged on something. Enter the Vortex Viper HS series. This scope comes with capped windage and elevation turrets, which means no more unexpected shifts in your settings after a little bump. These turrets wont move unexpectedly, keeping everything exactly where you left it.

Lightweight and compact, the Viper HS is the backpacker’s dream. It won’t drag you down like a lead weight, allowing you to cover hills and pass through forests without issue. Forget about illuminated reticles – the Dead-Hold BDC reticle is your steadfast companion for holdovers. It’s non-illuminated, yes, but it excels at what it does, providing clear aiming points without the battery fuss.

The optical system is renowned Vortex quality. Fully multi coated lenses ensure that light transmission is top notch, so even when the light fades, your view remains sharp and clear. The eye relief is a generous 4 inches, enough to keep your eyebrows intact after each shot. And let’s talk about the build, a 30mm one piece aluminium tube that’s tougher than a box of nails. It can withstand whatever Mother Nature throws at it. With ArmorTek coating, the exterior lenses laugh in the face of scratches, oil, and dirt. The exposed elevation turret, combined with Vortex’s CRS Zero Stop system, lets you make quick, precise adjustments. And returning to zero? A piece of cake.

On top of that, the fast focus eyepiece lets you adjust the reticle in the blink of an eye. Side focus adjustment? It’s there too, letting you dial in the perfect focus and parallax. This scope is versatile, whether you’re aiming for something close or far away. Overall the Vortex Viper HS series isn’t just a scope. It’s a good mate on every hunting trip, blending precision, durability, and sheer ease of use into one neat package.


Vortex HS 2.5-10×44

Versatile optic suitable for hunting and tactical use


Vortex HS 4-16×44

Mid to long-range shooting and hunting. Good low-light performance


Vortex HS 4-16×50

Versatile optic suitable for hunting and tactical use

Vortex Viper HST & HSLR Series

The Vortex Viper HST, my first ever scope for distance shooting. It’s like discovering the thrill of your first sports car, only this time you’re nailing steel at long distances. This gem had everything an aspiring long range shooter could dream of at an entry level price point. Zerostop, exposed turrets for dialling, and a reticle that’s as intuitive as it is precise.

The Vortex Viper HST is delightfully lightweight, making it perfect for those long treks in search of the perfect shot. Sure, it might not boast the same indestructible build as a Nightforce or a Steiner, but considering it costs a fraction of the price, it’s packed with features that make it a formidable contender in the long distance shooting arena.

Now, let’s talk specifics. The HST series, such as the 4-16x44mm model, offers a 4x zoom range and a 30mm tube that enhances windage and elevation travel. The exposed tactical turrets are not just for show, they provide up to 75 MOA adjustments, ensuring you can make those crucial corrections with ease. The CRS zero stop system is a lifesaver, allowing you to return to your zero point without any hassle. The fully multi coated lenses and XD glass elements guarantee clear images, even at higher magnifications.


The Viper HSLR series, on the other hand, takes things up a notch with features tailored for long range shooting. Models like the 4-16x50mm come with the Dead-Hold BDC reticle, designed to eliminate guesswork on holdover and windage corrections. The HSLR scopes also feature a robust 30mm one piece tube, which is not only shockproof but also waterproof and fogproof, thanks to its argon gas purging and O-ring seals. The ArmorTek coating on the lenses keeps them scratch-free, while the XR fully multi coated lenses enhance light transmission for those dawn and dusk hunting trips.

Both the HST and HSLR series are built to withstand the rigors of long distance shooting, with features like the Precision Force Spring System and the Precision Glide Erector System ensuring smooth operation under the harshest conditions. Whether you’re perched on a mountainside or nestled in a tree stand, these scopes will deliver the performance you need.

So, while the Vortex Viper HST and HSLR might not have the tank like durability of some higher end optics, they offer an exceptional balance of features, performance, and value that’s hard to beat in their price range.


Vortex Viper HSLR 4-16×50

Versatile optic suitable for hunting and tactical use


Vortex Viper HSLR 6-24×50

Mid to long-range shooting and hunting. Good low-light performance


Vortex Viper HST 4-16×44

Larger objective lens with better light transmission


Vortex Viper HST 6-24×50

Mid to long-range shooting and hunting. Good low-light performance

Vortex Viper PST Gen II Series


There are plenty of variants in the PST Gen II series, but my experience is largly with the 5-25x50mm model, which has set a high bar with its impressive clarity and tracking capabilities at a reasonable price. The PST Gen II line, although overshadowed recently by the Strike Eagle’s larger 56mm objective lens, offers remarkable features tailored for the precision shooter.

The Viper PST Gen II 5-25x50mm has a very versatile magnification range, making it suitable for both close and long range engagements. The 50mm objective lens, combined with XD lens elements and XR fully multi coated optics, ensures great light transmission and image clarity, crucial for accurate target acquisition at distances beyond 1000 yards.

One of the defining features of this scope is its first focal plane (FFP) reticle. This design ensures that the reticle scale remains proportional at each magnification range, allowing for accurate holdover and ranging at any magnification. The illuminated reticle, with 10 intensity levels, enhances visibility in low light conditions, which is particularly beneficial for dusk or dawn shooting.

Vortex Optics
My PST Gen II & Vortex bubble level

Durability is another strong suit of the Viper PST Gen II. Constructed from a single piece of aircraft grade aluminum, it is both waterproof and shockproof, making it resilient against harsh environmental conditions and recoil. The ArmorTek coating protects the exterior lenses from scratches, oil, and dirt, ensuring longevity and reliability. In terms of user experience, the scope features tactical style turrets for precise windage and elevation adjustments. The RZR Zero Stop mechanism allows for an easy return to zero, and the tactile, audible clicks of the adjustment knobs enhance the precision and ease of use.

I’ve personally used the Viper PST Gen II 5-25x50mm extensively, from hunting in mountainous terrains to long distance target shooting, and it has never let me down. Despite being exposed to a variety of weather conditions and extensive travel, it has remained steadfast and reliable. While the anticipation for a possible PST Gen III continues, the Gen II remains a top notch choice for long distance shooters seeking excellent value for their money. Full Vortex PST Gen II review available here.


Vortex PST Gen II 1-6×24

Versatile optic suitable for hunting and tactical use


Vortex PST Gen II 2-10-32

Mid to long-range shooting and hunting. Good low-light performance


Vortex PST Gen II 3-15×44

Larger objective lens with better light transmission


Vortex PST Gen II 5-25×50

Mid to long-range shooting and hunting. Good low-light performance

High Quality Series: Vortex Razor

Vortex Optics

The Vortex Razor series is a premier line of high magnification scopes designed specifically for long range precision shooters. Known for its professional grade features and competitive price point, the Vortex Razor Gen II has built a strong reputation in the optics community.

Manufactured in Japan, the same company that produces glass for other high end brands like Zeiss, Nightforce, and Burris, the Razor series stands out for its top tier build quality and optical performance. The Japanese craftsmanship, while pushing the price up, ensures fantastic precision and reliability.

The Razor HD Gen II, available in models like the 4.5-27×56 FFP, offers a 6x zoom range, a robust 34mm single-piece aircraft-grade aluminum tube, and the sophisticated L-Tec turret system. These features contribute to the scope’s state of the art accuracy and durability, making it ideal for extreme long range shooting environments.


For those seeking the next level of performance, the Razor HD Gen III series introduces even more advanced features. The Gen III 6-36×56 FFP model combines a high magnification range with a first focal plane reticle, ensuring consistent subtensions across all magnifications. This model also includes features like the EBR-7D reticle, which provides ample wind holds and ranging information, and a rugged construction designed to withstand the toughest conditions.

It’s worth noting that while the Vortex Razor AMG 6-24×50 has been discontinued, the current Razor lineup offers a variety of models to meet different shooting needs, from tactical engagements to hunting and competitive shooting. Overall, the Vortex Razor series remains a top choice for shooters seeking high-quality optics with professional grade features, offering excellent value for those looking to achieve precision for their long range rifle. Full Vortex Razor review available here.


Vortex Razor HD Gen II 1-6×24

Versatile optic suitable for hunting and tactical use


Vortex Razor HD Gen III 1-10×24

Mid to long-range shooting and hunting. Good low-light performance


Vortex Razor HD Gen II 4.5-27×56

Larger objective lens with better light transmission


Vortex Razor HD Gen III 6-36×56

Mid to long-range shooting and hunting. Good low-light performance

Best Hunting Scope: Vortex Razor LHT 3-15×50

The Vortex Razor LHT 3-15×50 exemplifies Vortex Optics’ dedication to creating high end optics for hunting. This rifle scope, with its versatile 3x to 15x magnification range and a substantial 50mm objective lens, delivers bright and clear images even in low light conditions, making it an excellent choice for hunters.

Equipped with HD optical elements and fully multi coated lenses, the Razor LHT ensures exceptional image quality and colour fidelity. The APO system with index matched lenses enhances image sharpness and brightness across the entire visual spectrum. Its lightweight design, coupled with an illuminated reticle featuring a daylight bright centre dot, allows hunters to quickly adapt to varying environments and lighting conditions​.

The scope’s construction from aerospace grade aluminum ensures it can withstand the rigors of challenging outdoor use. It features a single piece 30mm tube, maximizing alignment for improved accuracy and visual performance. The ArmorTek coating protects the exterior lenses from scratches, oil, and dirt, while argon gas purging ensures fogproof performance over a wide range of temperatures.

Vortex Optics

The Razor LHT 3-15×50 also includes convenient features such as the RevStop Zero System for a reliable return to zero after turret adjustments and a locking elevation turret that prevents accidental changes. The G4i BDC reticle provides reference marks to compensate for bullet drop and wind drift, enhancing its effectiveness with various firearms, including high powered rifles and slug shotguns​.

Overall, the Vortex Razor LHT 3-15×50 stands out for its optical quality, rugged construction, and advanced features, making it a top choice for hunters seeking exceptional performance in the field​.


Vortex Razor LHT 3-15×50

Great ergonomics, easy to shoot


Vortex Razor LHT 4.5-22×50

Mid to long-range shooting and hunting. Good low-light performance

Newest Hunting Scope: Vortex Viper HD Series

Just released from Vortex Optics, the Viper HD series is here to dominate the hunting scene. Vortex, known for their broad range of optics catering to all budgets, previously filled the hunting niche with the Razor LHT 3-15×50. Most Vortex hunting optics were hybrids, doubling as target and long-range tools. The Crossfire series served rimfire enthusiasts, and the PST line had its hunting devotees alongside the Razor LHT.

Now, the Viper HD is stepping up. Available in a variety of magnifications, from the versatile 2-10×42 to the long-range 5-25×50, these scopes are built to withstand the harshest conditions. Every model boasts a 30mm maintube for durability. Options include three different illuminated reticles: the Dead-Hold BDC, VMR-3, and VMR-4, perfect for low-light hunting scenarios.

The Dead-Hold BDC eliminates guesswork with holdovers, featuring an illuminated center dot. The VMR-3 has an illuminated center dot with hashmarks for precise aiming in low light. The VMR-4 is a traditional long-distance reticle with substantial holdover capabilities.

The scopes come with exposed ‘locking’ elevation turrets and capped windage, similar to the Razor series. Changes are made by lifting the turret, dialing, and pushing it back to lock in the change. The 3-15×44 models offer a capped elevation option, and parallax settings range from 20 yards to infinity, except for the 2-10×42 model. Higher magnification models also feature a zero stop.

Weight is crucial for hunters, and Viper HD scopes don’t disappoint. The 3-15×44 models weigh in at 22 ounces (623 grams), and the 5-25×50 versions come in at 25 ounces (708 grams). In the box, you’ll find a neoprene cover, sunshade, lens cloth, and, depending on the model, accessories like a CR2032 battery and a custom turret tool. Each scope is fogproof, shockproof, and waterproof, with Argon gas purging and Armortek coating. Vortex Optics’ Viper HD riflescopes offer budget-friendly options for hunters facing challenging conditions.

Vortex’s Unbeatable Warranty

A standout feature that sets Vortex apart from many competitors is their VIP Warranty. It is a fully transferable, unlimited lifetime warranty that comes with all Vortex products. This means that no matter who owns the scope or when it was purchased, Vortex will repair or replace it if it becomes damaged or defective.

The VIP Warranty covers accidental damage, such as drops and impacts, making it one of the most comprehensive warranties in the optics industry. This exceptional customer service and commitment to their products have garnered Vortex a loyal and satisfied customer base.

Vortex Optics

Choosing the Right Vortex Scope for You

As you consider investing in a Vortex rifle scope, it’s crucial to assess your shooting needs, budget, and preferences. Each Vortex scope model is purpose-built, so knowing your intended use will guide you towards the ideal choice. Whether you prioritize affordability, optical performance, or specific features, there is a Vortex scope that fits the bill.

Ultimately, Vortex rifle scopes offer exceptional value for money, outstanding performance, and an unbeatable warranty. Their commitment to innovation and customer satisfaction has solidified their position as one of the leading optics manufacturers in the market.

Vortex Optics

As with any optics purchase, it’s advisable to try out the scopes in person, if possible, or consult with experts and fellow shooters who have hands-on experience with Vortex products. Remember that selecting the right rifle scope can significantly impact your shooting experience and overall success in the field.


In conclusion, Vortex rifle scopes continue to impress shooters with their excellent performance, reliability, and rugged construction. Whether you’re a hunter, sports shooter, or precision enthusiast, a Vortex scope can undoubtedly enhance your shooting experience. While the comparison with Leupold scopes reveals distinct strengths in each brand, both have solidified their positions as leading optics manufacturers in the market.

Remember to conduct thorough research and consider your specific shooting requirements before making a purchase decision. As technology and manufacturing processes evolve, it’s always a good idea to stay up-to-date with the latest information regarding Vortex rifle scope production and other related aspects.

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