Vortex Optics is a company that has a unique view; one that many companies could learn from beyond just those who make sporting equipment. Their mission is incredibly simple - to focus the company on the customer. This is noticeable in Vortex scopes.
Many companies claim to put a great deal of emphasis on the customer, but the reality is that few actually accomplish it. Vortex does.
As it is put by Vortex, their business is all about three P's: People, Products and Promises. This has been the guiding principles since a retail store was opened in 1986 by Dan and Margie Hamilton, in Middleton, Wisconsin, to sell outdoor equipment to sportsmen.
With the success and knowledge the Hamilton's gained from the store, they established Vortex Optics in 2002. Some people might think that this means that not enough time has passed for Vortex to produce products that would allow the company to establish itself, considering the stiff competition. However, they've succeeded in doing exactly that.
Vortex also has dealers in the UK, Europe, Australia, Africa and Europe, as well as those in the United States.
Dan and Margie are proud to say that Vortex is American owned, American operated and additionally that it is owned by a US military veteran. There aren't many businesses of any sort that can make the same claim and their pride is justified. Even with all of this, though, the goal of the company still focuses on the consumers. This is refreshing in today's world.
Vortex Scope Reviews
For a company that focuses on the customer, no pun intended, it isn't surprising that Vortex produces so many different scopes to suit different purposes and different people. The scopes the company produces also range from less expensive ones suitable for the beginner and hobbyist to more expensive high-end scopes for professionals and expert hunters.
Because of this variety, the best way to have a proper review of the Vortex optics is to look at a number of the scopes they offer, rating each one individually. In this way, it should be possible to get a feel for what is available and what you will get when you purchase a Vortex scope.
Vortex Razor HD Gen II 1-6x24 Riflescope
The Vortex Razor is an amazing scope. The lenses are made of glass that is specifically designed for the least realistically possible light dispersion. This makes the image especially sharp while rendering very accurate real-life color.
There is a second focal plane that allows for a solidly constant size at all magnifications. According to Vortex, the lenses are also index-matched. The glass of the lenses is also multiple coated for long life and superior performance. The Razor is more durable than many other scopes and is made of the same sort of aluminum that is found in aircraft fuselages. The scope has O ring construction and is filled with argon rather than nitrogen. Argon is even less reactive to moisture than nitrogen. This makes the scope waterproof, fog proof and highly shock resistant.
The center dot has an illumination control that can be turned on or off and which has 11 levels of intensity. This makes it suitable for use in low to bright light and in virtually any weather conditions. Owners do need to remember to adjust it to the brightness desired, however, or they could be led to believe that the dot is too dim, when they simply have it set that way.
Vortex Razor Description
The Razor HD Gen II has a 24 mm objective lens and a 4 inch eye relief. The magnification is variable, from 1 to 6. The scope is just over 10 inches in length and weighs a little more than a pound and a half. The scope adjustments are by 1/2 MOA and the turrets are low, to prevent them from catching on limbs and so forth. They are also capped. This scope is easy to sight in, changing magnification is simple and focusing is fast. The illumination level can also be locked into place.
Vortex Razor Cons
The biggest downside of this scope is the price. The suggested price is just under $2,000 and while you can find this scope and some retailers for far less, you can still expect to pay over $1,250 for it. This said, the value of this scope is high and it would be rated high because of this. This is the sort of scope that wouldn’t need to be replaced every few years. In fact, it may never need to be replaced because of how sturdy, well-built and durable it is.
VORTEX RAZOR RATINGS
Vortex Crossfire II 6-24x50 AO Riflescope
The Crossfire has many of the same features that the Razor has. It is made of the same high-grade aluminum that is used for aircraft, it has a second focal plane, it has O rings to make it waterproof and the tube is in a single piece.
The clarity is excellent, though the glass doesn’t have the same quality as the Razor. Then again, the cost is around $300, so it is also substantially less expensive than the Razor. The good quality and craftsmanship is certainly present in this scope. The gas used in this scope is also nitrogen, rather than argon, as used in the Razor.
This is a well-made, waterproof, fog proof, shock resistant rifle scope and it should be noted it says a great deal when it is compared to one of the top of the line Vortex scopes, rather than comparing it to the scopes of other manufacturers. This is done intentionally, because there are few scopes produced by other manufacturers that are honestly comparable, for the price.
The Crossfire II weighs just under a pound and a half and it is 14 ½ inches long, so it isn’t a cheaply made feather-weight scope. The turrets are capped and have 1/4 MOA graduations, making it easy to adjust accurately. It also has a windage adjustment of up to 40 MOA, which is quite nice.
The objective lens is 50 mm in diameter and this scope has a four inch eye relief. The magnification begins at 6 and can be set up to a magnification of 24. The Crossfire II is fast to focus and the turrets feature re-indexing to zero after sighting in.
The reticle for the Crossfire is V-Plex, with clear cross-hairs. This scope comes with lens caps.
At the highest magnification and in bright sunlight, the focus is slightly blurry. This issue isn’t bad and the scope is still quite useable at high magnification, however it does seem to be a flaw. This is likely to be an issue primarily for professionals, as most sportsmen will probably be shooting at lower magnification. The problem is slight enough that I rate the scope only slightly lower in functionality because of the problem with clarity at extreme magnification.
VORTEX CROSSFIRE II RATINGS
Vortex Viper 6.5-20x50 Riflescope
The Vortex Viper is a very sturdy Vortex scope that has tall, capped turrets for ease and speed of adjustments. This is a scope that is built to be suitable for hunting, target shooting and varmint shooting. It is also good for distance shooting. The price of the Viper is good, at between $425 and $450 (and even lower when on sale).
The tall turrets make this scope a breeze to adjust in the field. The glass has multiple coating and there is very little loss of light transmission, so the image is clear. The coating also resists scratching of the lenses through normal use. The parallax adjustment is on the side and it has clear adjustment numbers so the scope can be adjusted easily even when it is on target. The side focus is quite handy and appealing. It is great to be able to adjust the parallax.
This is a solidly made Vortex scope of aircraft aluminum, with O ring construction and it is filled with argon. This makes the scope waterproof, fog proof and shock resistant, as with other Vortex scopes.
Vortex Viper Statistics
The Viper weighs about one and a third pounds and is just under 14 ½ inches long. The eye relief is slightly over three inches. The objective lens has a diameter of 50 millimeters and the magnification is variable, from 6.5 to 20. This scope has a dead-hold BDC reticle with clear cross-hairs and easy to see graduations that make sighting and shooting simple. This scope has a second focal plane, too. Lens covers come with the Viper as well, however you’ll want to invest in good mounts.
The Viper is clear at both short and long range and at both ends of the available magnification.
Vortex Viper Cons
This Vortex scope is comparable to other quality made scopes in the same price range. That is to say that it functions well, the cost isn’t tremendously high, it is well-made and durable, but it isn’t appreciably better than other $450 scopes. Still, I would recommend this Vortex scope, because it certainly isn’t worse than the competition, either.
VORTEX VIPER RATINGS
Vortex Diamondback 4-12x40 Riflescope
Here is a Vortex scope that isn’t expensive. Although the price is less than $200, it is ruggedly built of aircraft-grade aluminum, so it is durable. The Diamondback has O ring construction like other Vortex scopes and it is filled with argon gas. This means that it is waterproof, fog proof and shock resistant. That is a great combination in a scope priced at less than $200.
The turrets on the Diamondback aren’t tall, so they are less apt to catch on brush or other obstructions. They are also zero reset. The parallax is set to 100 yards. The turret adjustments are 1/4 MOA and the elevation or windage adjustments are 60 MOA. These are capped turrets.
There are two reticles available for this scope: V-plex and Dead-Hold BDC.
The Diamondback is built to be used for long range, short range, target shooting and even for use on black powder rifles, so it is an all-around scope.
Vortex Diamondback Statistics
The Diamondback is a foot long and weighs somewhat less than a pound. This makes it suitable for brush hunting and shooting, and it doesn’t have so much weight that a hunter should get tired just from toting it around. The eye relief is advertised as being a little more than three inches.
The objective lens on this scope is 40 millimeters and the magnification is variable from 4 to 12.
Vortex Diamondback Cons
The cost of this Vortex scope is wonderful. However, at high magnification, particularly in bright sunlight, image clarity isn’t very good. Also, the stated eye relief isn’t accurate, which could make this a dangerous scope to use on a rifle that has a heavy recoil. To be honest, I don’t think I’d mount it on my .300 Savage, but on a .22 LR or varmint rifle, it doesn’t seem to have any problems with handling the recoil, without taking out an eye in the process.
Another black mark against the Diamondback is that it isn’t made in the USA. It is made in China.
This is to say that not all of the Vortex scopes are worth the money. The Diamondback is an okay scope, however there are quite a few scopes on the market that exceed the functionality of this one, for about the same price. While I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend most of the Vortex scopes, this is one that I’d only recommend if there wasn’t any other decent scope available.
VORTEX RANGER RATINGS
Vortex is a good company that has a great key-focus: The customer. Overall, they make good, high-quality scopes that are built to last. Their scopes are waterproof, fog proof and shock resistant and for the most part, have a lot of value for the money. However, it would be worthwhile to get objective opinions of any particular Vortex scope before purchasing it. Not all Vortex rifle scopes are created equal. It is safe to assume that this is why you are here reading these Vortex scope reviews and this shows wisdom, since we will not intentionally lead you astray.
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