Vortex Viper vs. Vortex Strike Eagle

While Vortex may be a relatively new optics provider, they’ve rapidly made a name for themselves by producing high-quality optics systems that don’t cost a down payment on a new car.

Let’s take a look at how the Vortex Viper PST Gen II 5-25×50 compares to the Vortex Strike Eagle 5-25×56.

Overview

In general, both the  Vortex Viper PST Gen II 5-25×50 FFP and the Vortex Strike Eagle 5-25×56 are incredibly capable long-range scopes.

The Vortex Viper PST Gen II is a scope that lets you get nearly all of the features you might find on top-tier competition scopes like the Razor HD Gen II, while only shelling out half as much of your hard-earned cabbage.

 

The Vortex Strike Eagle 5-25×56, on the other hand, is a slightly pared-down version that still gives an amazing performance and solid features.

For those that want a long-range scope that costs a few hundred bucks less than the Viper PST, the Strike Eagle is what you need. You’ll still be using super high-quality optics that you can use to edge out the competition at events.

 

Let’s take a look at just how these two optics systems stack up against each other. We’re going to look at the overall optical quality, the MOA adjustment range, the field of view, focal plane differences, tactical turret differences, and the turret zero system each one offers.

Optical quality

As you might expect, comparing two scopes in different product lines from the same manufacturer, one leads the other. That said, the difference isn’t huge, and it may not factor into your choice.

 

The Vortex Viper is superior in the overall image clarity. The glass is special XD (extra-low dispersion) coated glass, which not only boosts color fidelity but provides incredibly crisp images at max range.

 

The Vortex Strike Eagle has a 34mm tube with a 56mm objective lens. This gives the shooter an increased range of adjustment for the reticle. It also widens the field of view a bit more than the 30mm tube of the Viper.

Winner: Vortex Viper

MOA

The adjustability of the turrets varies considerably from the Viper PST to the Strike Eagle. The Viper features a maximum windage adjustment of 30 MOA and a maximum elevation adjustment of 70 MOA. The Strike Eagle gives maximum windage of 78 MOA, and a maximum elevation adjustment of 110 MOA. This additional adjustment wiggle room gives the Strike Eagle a bit of an edge.

Winner: Vortex Strike Eagle

Field Of View

For those that are going to be reaching out and touching targets far away, the field of view is going to be important. Luckily, both the Viper and the Strike Eagle are on relatively similar footing, despite the optical differences.

 

The PST Gen II 5-25×50 gives you a field of view of 24.1 to 4.8 ft @100 yards. The Vortex Stike Eagle 5-25×56 gives you a slightly larger field of view with 24.0 to 5.2 ft @100 yards. At long range, they’re very similar, close-up, however, the Strike Eagle gives a little bit more visibility.

Winner: Vortex Strike Eagle

Focal Plane

The focal plane and reticle differences between the Vortex PST Gen II and the Vortex Strike Eagle are where you may find yourself leaning toward one over the other, depending on your needs and preferences.

 

The Vortex PST Gen II 5-25×50 is available in both the first focal plane and second focal plane versions. This allows the shooter to get exactly what they want for making long-range shots. The Viper PST also comes in two reticle versions, both an MOA (EBR-4) version and an MOA + MRAD (EBR-7) version.

 

The Strike Eagle is more limited, however, and only comes with a single reticle option. It has the EBR-7 reticle, in a first focal plane location. This can be a detriment to those that want to magnify their reticle for clearer ranging of long-distance shots.

Winner: Vortex Viper

Tactical Turrets

Both scopes have great turrets that have clear adjustment clicks in ¼ MOA adjustments, though there are some physical differences in the design.

 

The Vortex Viper PST Gen II 5-25×50 has exposed tactical turrets that allow the shooter to easily and quickly read the adjustments off-zero that they’ve made at a glance, with an integrated Rapid Return Zero system. This is incredibly handy since the turrets cannot be locked in place to prevent unintentional adjustments.

 

The Vortex Stike Eagle 5-25×56 features tactical locking turrets that are available with an integrated locking mechanism, preventing any kind of accidental adjustments.

This integrated locking feature gives the Strike Eagle a slight edge in applications where the turrets may be bumped. If the turrets do lose their zero, the RevStop system can help the shooter get back to zero almost instantly.

Winner: Vortex Strike Eagle

System

Both the Vortex Viper PST Gen II 5-25×50 and the Vortex Stike Eagle 5-25×56 have rapid zero features, and while they accomplish the same goal, they operate a little differently.

The Viper PST Gen II has a zero system called the Rapid Zero Return, or RZR.

This system integrates steel internals to the exposed turrets that, when properly set, prevent movement below the zero mark.

This system requires the user to set the absolute zero with a few set screws that are recessed into the turret dials.

To return to zero after adjustments, simply dial back to the stop, and you’re ready to rock and roll. The extremely close tolerances of the screws prevent any dirt, sand, debris, or even moisture from penetrating the turret housing.

 

The Vortex Strike Eagle features the Rev Stop Zero system.

The Rev Stop Zero system limits the movement of the turret to just about two full rotations of adjustment. It involves using a coin to loosen the top screw, then removing the turret cap.

Then you just drop in the Rev Stop and adjust to the zero setting you want, and replace the turret cap with the zero mark facing the shooter.

All that’s left is to replace the turret cap screw and tighten it down, and you have a rock-solid zero.

Winner: Toss up

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