Vortex optics is a relatively newer company but it has made a name for itself in the low-cost optics market over the years. The Strike Eagle and the Venom are often compared, but as two separate scope lines, can they be easily compared? We’re going to try to break them down and put them on equal footing for you, so that if you are in the market for new optics, you know which is likely to be ideal for your application.
Similarities between the two
The two scopes do have some similarities between them, and luckily one of those similarities is the top-quality glass that Vortex uses on their optics systems. Both the Strike Eagle and the Venom will give you a solid and distortion-free image out to several hundred yards.
Both scopes also feature the Rev Stop system for turret locking. This allows you to set your zero permanently in your scope, and by activating the Rev Stop system, quickly return to your zero after making windage or elevation adjustments.
Differences between the two
Here are the main differences between the Strike Eagle and the Venom that we were able to identify. We looked at differences in the turret style and operation, the illumination options, eye relief, field of view at a minimum and maximum distances, focus, and overall weight. Some of these may not be as important to you or your shooting experience as others, but we wanted to have as many differentiation points as possible so you know where you stand with each scope.
The turrets are largely the same, though there are some small differences between the Strike Eagle and the Venom. The Strike Eagle has two minor advantages over the Venom when it comes to the turrets, and while they may not be crucial for some shooters, they can be game-changers for others.
The turrets are lockable so that there are no accidental adjustments made when you need them least. While this is a great feature, most people will never need locking turrets, as they simply aren’t that active with their scope. If you were looking for a minor feature difference that could save some money at checkout, you can probably skip the differences in the turrets.
The illumination capabilities are one of the biggest differences between the Strike Eagle and the Venom. The Venom has no illumination at all, so if you are hoping to do some low-light operation, you’ll need to think again. This means the Venom is only going to be firing on all cylinders during bright daylight, making it ideal for daytime competition use.
The Strike Eagle, on the other hand, has more illumination options than you can shake an empty magazine at. There are 11 different illumination options for the reticle, each one offering you a chance to customize your reticle brightness to your exacting requirements.
The difference in adjustments on the two scopes is noticeable, but won’t be of a lot of use to many shooters. The Strike Eagle can be adjusted by 110 MOA of the total internal adjustment range. The Venom has a slightly smaller range of internal adjustment, and only covers 85 MOA of adjustment range.
Most shooters will never need to worry about adjusting that much while in the field, however, and if you were looking for a difference that can likely be ignored in favor of saving a few bucks at the register, the difference in turrets is probably a good difference to ignore. This is particularly true if you shoot targets at 250 yards or closer, odds are good that you will never use all that adjustment range that you’re paying for.
Eye relief is a category that matters for a lot of people, particularly those with glasses or contacts, who may not be able to adjust their position as easily. The two scopes come close in eye relief, but there is still a measurable difference between the two.
The Strike Eagle has eye relief that measures 3.7 inches. This is reasonably comfortable and gives plenty of room to see a nice, full image while avoiding getting kissed by that scope when you fire. The Venom has similar eye relief, but it loses a tenth of an inch and totals only 3.6 inches.
There is a significant chance that this extra tenth of an inch won’t be the reason that someone gets trounced at a competition, or ends up with a beautiful new black eye, but it’s worth mentioning. For those with specific shooting and optics needs, 0.1 inches can mean the world.
Field of view
The Strike Eagle and the Vortex have similar fields of view, but there are some small differences. The Strike Eagle is going to have a wider field of view at the lowest and highest magnification settings, but not by much.
The Strike Eagle will be able to see 5.2 feet at base magnification, and a field of 24 feet wide at max magnification. The Venom will be limited to 4.7 feet up close, and 21.2 feet wide while at maximum magnification.
These two are on relatively even footing when it comes to focusing, with some pretty minor differences. The Strike Eagle is the more long-range scope of the two and will help you reach out and touch targets further away. The magnification on the Venom, however, is much smoother and may allow for faster target acquisition.
For all the differences that you might deem as inconsequential or drawbacks that you can “just deal with” in compromise, chances are good that weight simply isn’t one of them. Weight of your optics is vital to keep track of, because not only does it affect the ability to carry, as well as accurately and safely handle the weapon, but it can severely affect the physics of the firing cycle as well.
These two scopes are quite different when it comes to weight. And there is nearly a quarter-pound difference between the two. The Strike Eagle is going to be the lighter scope between them and weighs in at 30 ounces. The Venom is going to be a bit heavier and weighs in at a hefty 35 ounces.
While you may not change your shots too much if your existing optics system is close in weight to one or the other, otherwise, you’re going to need to get some serious practice in. Adding 2-3 pounds to your rifle is going to change how it handles and shoots, and you’ll need to relearn your gun.