Rangerexpert is audience-supported. When you buy through links on this site, we may earn an affiliate commission that we use for site maintenance. Learn more

Outdoor Optics Scopes

Best Vortex Rifle Scopes You Can Try out in 2023

Vortex Optics is one of the top rifle scope brands today with a solid reputation just like other popular brands like Bushnell, Leupold, Redfield, and Nikon. But what sets Vortex apart from their competition is their inexpensive optic options.

If you’re a Vortex fan, you already know which of their optics are dominating the market. However, the RangerExpert team has given their own input here so you can easily make up your mind – no matter if you are a hunter or a target shooter.

A Quick View of Our Favorites Vortex Scopes

Pick Name Thumbnail Product Name Price
Top Pick Vortex Optics Crossfire II 4-12×44 Vortex Optics Crossfire II 4-12×44 $169 at Amazon
2nd Vortex Optics Diamondback 1.75-5×32 Second Focal Plane Riflescope Vortex Optics Diamondback 1.75-5×32 Second Focal Plane Riflescope $229 at Amazon
3rd Vortex Optics Strike Eagle 1-8×24 Vortex Optics Strike Eagle 1-8×24 $439 at Amazon
4th Vortex Optics Diamondback Tactical 6-24×50 First Focal Plane Riflescope Vortex Optics Diamondback Tactical 6-24×50 First Focal Plane Riflescope $400 at Amazon
5th Vortex Optics Viper HS-T 6-24×50 SFP Riflescope Vortex Optics Viper HS-T 6-24×50 SFP Riflescope $639 at Amazon

Top 5 Best Vortex Rifle Scopes Ranked by Us

01 Vortex Optics Crossfire II 4-12×44 (Top Pick)

Vortex Optics Crossfire II 4-12x44 AO SFP Riflescope

Being the highest performer in the Vortex line, the Crossfire II is our top pick. Using this device will drastically increase accuracy and precision when both hunting and shooting at targets. Reliable with great quality performance, this optical tool can be used by any member of the family even if you are a beginner. It has a wide magnification range that goes from 4x to 12x depending on your preference.

An objective lens of 44mm awaits you if you buy the Vortex Crossfire II. This allows optimal light transmission so you can shoot in situations with low lighting. The size of the objective lens is also good for a wider field of view which is helpful when hunting deer. The eye relief of this device is generous enough that we were able to use it while wearing glasses.

For the best glare reflection, the lenses are fully multi-colored that further brightens views and increases clarity. The body is durable seen as it is made using aircraft-grade aluminum which will prevent rust as well. The aluminum tube is nitrogen purged making it fog resistant in humid environments. Rough weather will not affect this waterproof optical device.

A BDC reticle with a customized dot design will help you aim quickly and efficiently. This device has optics on the second focal plane so that your view doesn’t change its appearance when you adjust the magnification. The Crossfire II will make you more accurate because you will see your target better with stable images.


  • Magnification: 4x-12x
  • Objective Lens: 44mm
  • Focal Plane: Second focal plane
  • Field Of View: 24.7 – 8.4 ft/100 yds
  • Eye Relief: 3.9 in.
  • Weight: 1.1 lbs.
  • Warranty Limited: lifetime warranty


  • Affordable
  • Lightweight
  • Limited lifetime warranty
  • Aircraft-grade aluminum
  • Weather resistant


  • Difficult to use if you are not a professional
  • No mounting rings are included

Our Verdict

There is a reason that the Crossfire II is our top pick; it is the most affordable model, but it works just as well. The limited lifetime warranty that Vortex offers is also a great advantage for you. Weather resistant and lightweight, you will benefit greatly from this device in any environment.

Clear and bright views will await you with the Vortex Crossfire II, making it an ideal choice for the top of our list.

02 Vortex Optics Diamondback 1.75-5×32 Second Focal Plane Riflescope

Vortex Optics Diamondback 1.75-5x32 Second Focal Plane Riflescope

A great option for beginner hunters and shooters, the Diamondback has a small magnification range but great quality views. This device is best suited to shorter ranges for accurate and precise results. It can shoot at a longer range, but the results won’t be as satisfying. The reticle is on the second focal plane which increases image stability while you aim. Generous eye relief allowed us to use the Diamondback while wearing glasses.

Fully multi-coated lenses are what make the view crystal clear and bright. The advantage of this is that it can still be used accurately in low lighting. The size of the objective lens is sufficient enough for good light transmission which also makes shooting in low light easier. This is one of the more affordable Vortex options which is another reason why beginners could benefit from it greatly.

With the diamondback you are getting the quality that you expect from Vortex, but at a very low price. The limited lifetime warranty is proof that they are confident in the work they release from their factories. The precision glide erector system will ensure that you track accurately and that there is accurate repeatability. Precision turrets gave us the opportunity to easily zero reset after we sighted in.

Durability is one of the top features of the Diamondback because it is a one-piece anodized tube. This allows it to be shockproof when you are shooting a lot. It is also both fog-and water-resistant.


  • Magnification: 1.75x – 5x
  • Objective Lens: 32mm
  • Focal Plane: Second focal plane
  • Field Of View: 68.3 – 23.1 ft/100 yds
  • Eye Relief: 3.5 in.
  • Weight: 1.3 lb.
  • Warranty Limited: lifetime warranty


  • Affordable
  • Water resistant
  • Argon purged
  • Anodized finish
  • Lightweight


  • Low magnification range
  • No mounting rings included

Our Verdict

If you want an optical tool that can be used by the whole family, the Vortex Diamondback is the right choice. It is easy to use and figure out and a great beginner’s choice. You can use it for hunting or target practice both indoors and outdoors, depending on your preference.

The limited lifetime warranty makes the price even more appealing especially if you’re on a budget.

03 Vortex Optics Strike Eagle 1-8×24

Vortex Optics Strike Eagle 1-8x24

The reason the Strike Eagle is 2nd best is simply because it has a lower magnification range in comparison to the top pick. Aircraft-grade aluminum makes the tube durable enough to withstand the vibrations that will accompany shooting. This updated scope has a magnification range of 1 to 8x making it better for short distance shooting or hunting. We found it easy to change magnification without coming off the scope because the indicator is visible.

The BDC3 reticle is illuminated making it easier to for you to target faster. It helps you shoot immediately at known targets that are 650 yards away. A fast focus dial allows you to focus the reticle quickly and efficiently. To further improve the optics, the 30mm tube is nitrogen purged to prevent fogging of the lenses in humid areas. It is O-ring sealed to make it water resistant allowing it to withstand harsh weather.

The lenses are fully coated with anti-reflective coatings to improve light transmission. The objective lens is smaller than some of the other options on our list, but the optics are high quality. You can use the Strike Eagle in low lighting because of the superior light transmission and clarity that it offers. With the price that you pay for it you could almost say that it is a steal.

It is not the most affordable but it comes with a limited lifetime warranty, you cannot go wrong with the Strike Eagle. The reticle on this device in on the second focal plane so the appearance of objects will stay clear as you change magnifications.


  • Magnification: 1x – 8x
  • Objective Lens: 24mm
  • Focal Plane Second: focal plane
  • Field Of View: 109 – 14.4 ft/100 yds
  • Eye Relief: 3.5 in.
  • Weight: 1.1 lb.
  • Warranty Limited: lifetime warranty


  • Limited lifetime warranty
  • Shock proof
  • Weatherproof
  • Lightweight
  • Durable


  • Expensive
  • Smaller objective lens

Our Verdict

Although it is not the cheapest option on our list, it is worth the money that you will spend on it. With stabile and bright views, it will be difficult to miss your target even in low lighting. Remember that it won’t function well in complete darkness because there is no light at all. The limited lifetime warranty is characteristic of Vortex and gives you peace of mind.

This is a great scope to teach beginners on and it has a generous eye relief to top of the list of advantages.

04 Vortex Optics Diamondback Tactical 6-24×50 First Focal Plane Riflescope

Vortex Optics Diamondback Tactical 6-24x50 First Focal Plane Riflescope

With by far the largest magnification range, the Diamondback Tactical can be used for all types of shooting. You will be accurate and precise with the magnifications you can choose from while shooting. It is definitely one of the more expensive options on our list but there is a good reason for that. If you are on a high enough budget, you should consider the Diamondback Tactical as one of your first choices.

A magnification range of 6 to 24x makes it easy to see your target at any distance. With the extra-low dispersion glass that is used for the lenses gives you an amazingly clear picture. The lenses are also fully multi-coated to transmit the ideal amount of light. Because of these features, you can use the Diamondback Tactical in low light environments. The features of this device make it more suitable for the more experienced shooter or hunter.

A first focal plane device, it will suit all of your magnification and aiming needs. There is a precision-glide erector system that makes magnification changes smooth and easy. Even in the harshest weather, changing magnification is as smooth as butter. Because the tube is a single piece, it is more durable and shockproof than multiple piece tubes. Nitrogen purging makes it fog resistant, so the lenses are clear in humid or wet environments.

Finally, with all these great features comes a limited lifetime warranty to keep your anxiety at bay. Vortex is one of the top scope manufacturers because of the durability and functionality of all their great products.


  • Magnification: 6x – 24x
  • Objective Lens: 50mm
  • Focal Plane: First focal plane
  • Field Of View: 18 – 4.5 ft/100 yds
  • Eye Relief: 3.9 in.
  • Weight: 1.5 lb.
  • Warranty: Limited lifetime warranty


  • Nitrogen purged
  • Shock resistant
  • Water resistant
  • Limited lifetime warranty
  • Large objective lens


  • Heavier
  • More expensive

Our Verdict

It is not the most expensive option on our list, but you will have to budget more to afford it. However, it is worth the hard-earned money that you spend. If you want quality, you are not going wrong with the Diamondback Tactical. The limited lifetime warranty is another advantage that should make you more interested in Vortex.

It has a wide range of magnifications and a large objective lens making it ideal for all types of shooting at any time of the day.

05 Vortex Optics Viper HS-T 6-24×50 SFP Riflescope

Vortex Optics Viper HS-T 6-24x50 SFP Riflescope

Despite being the most expensive model on our list, the Vortex Viper offers so many goodies that we must admit that its pricing is well justified. So, what key pro features that make it stand out from the rest? Let’s find out.

This scope sports an extremely large magnification range that makes it even more versatile. Because it has such a wide magnification range, you can use it for more than just target practice and hunting. In theory, you could use it as binoculars if you wanted to view something far away. It is on the second focal plane which makes objects clearer when you zoom into them.

In terms of precision holds, the MOA VMR-1 Reticle of the scope does an excellent job for expanded ranges. The lens of the scope has this low dispersion feature that would ensure image accuracy and clarity.

The XR coatings will give you great resolution as well as color fidelity which adds to the quality of the optics. Another coating will protect the lenses as well to make sure that they don’t scratch or crack easily. The target-style turrets are exposed to make it easy to adjust while you are aiming. They are precise and have repeatable finger-adjustable clicks making it easy to lock into each setting.

Although it is expensive, it comes with a limited lifetime warranty to protect your quality purchase. The CRS zero stop helps you get back to zero after the dial elevation corrections. There is a side focus parallax adjustment knob so you can focus the image and remove parallax. These features work together to provide bright, clear, and stable views in the most important moments of shooting.

A good field of view is another advantage, and you will be able to see well even at the highest magnification. A generous eye relief will allow you to see clearly even if you wear glasses or sunglasses.


  • Magnification: 6x – 24x
  • Objective Lens: 50mm
  • Focal Plane: Second focal plane
  • Field Of View: 17.8 – 5.1 ft/100 yds
  • Eye Relief: 4.0 in.
  • Weight: 1.4 lb.
  • Warranty: Limited lifetime warranty


  • Water resistant
  • Generous eye relief
  • Limited lifetime warranty
  • Large magnification range
  • Second focal plane


  • Expensive
  • Heavier

Our Verdict

It might be expensive, but it is of the highest quality in relation to riflescopes. The limited lifetime warranty is an added bonus that will keep you confident when using the device. It is a versatile device that is ideal for professional hunters and shooters. A durable device that is weather and shock resistant to withstand the harshest conditions.

Overall, this is a great device, and it was worth a spot on our top 5 list.

Quick Vortex Scope Buying Guide

Vortex Scopes Buying Guide

  • Optical Power

Optical power is usually dependent on the magnification of the scope as well as the lenses and tube. Tubes that are gas purged offer more quality optics because they are fog resistant. The focal plane is also important, but we will get more into that a bit later. Finally, the type of class used, and the type of reticle used will also affect the power of the optics.

  • Size

The objective lens diameter as well as the tube will determine the size of the scope. Bigger sizes are usually heavier, and they can be more difficult to control, but the optics and light transmission are second to none.

A large objective lens will allow more light to enter the optics, giving you brighter views when you are in situations with low lighting. It is important that you ensure that you have the right size of mounting rings for the scope that you choose.

  • Reticle

There are many different reticle styles available to you.

  • Crosshair reticles are one of the most popular and are made up of a horizontal and vertical line. The lines cross at the centre which is the aiming point, and they are ideal for precision and not so much for hunting.
  • Duplex reticles are great for hunting and are made up of thick and thin lines. They are great for aiming at targets quickly making them good for moving objects.
  • BDC reticles are a modified form of the duplex and are designed to be compensative for gravity on bullets. They are very accurate.
  • Mil-Dot reticles use dots on 4 lines to measure distance. It is complicated to use, and you need to practice before going out and shooting with one.
  • Focal Plane

The two planes that you will come across are first and second focal plane.

  • First focal plane: Also known as the front focal plane, this reticle will either increase or decrease when you change the power settings of your device.
  • Second focal plane: This is the simplest type that you can use as the reticle will stay the same regardless of what magnification you are one.
  • Parallax Correction

This refers to how well the scope can correct itself relative to the game you are shooting. Optical devices that have higher magnifications should have some parallax settings. Parallax will be able to give you the best view so you can accurately and precisely hit your target whenever you are shooting.

  • Magnification

You have two types of magnification designs available for you when looking for the best Vortex scope. Fixed magnification devices stay at one magnification and cannot be adjusted. These scopes are easy to use because you don’t have to fiddle with them much making them ideal for beginners. Devices with adjustable magnification can be made stronger or weaker depending on how far you want to shoot.

  • Brightness and Clarity

Almost every aspect of these devices will dictate how bright and clear the views are before buying one. Higher magnifications can be detrimental to clarity because it is more difficult to stabilize the device when zoomed in.

Lens coatings also play a part in brightness because they are meant to help light transmission. The brighter and clearer your images are, the better they will function in low light situations.

  • Build Quality

The worst thing that you can get is a device that is below the quality you expected. Aircraft-grade aluminum is often used to prevent rust and to make the device much more durable. The build will also influence weather resistance as well as shock resistance which is important for longevity.

  • Ease of Use

The question you need to ask yourself with a device is, do you know how to use it. If it looks like a physics model that you don’t understand, it is probably not best for your needs. Adjustable devices are easier to use if more than one person is going to need it. Fixed magnifications can be easier to use because they need little or no adjustments.

Vortex vs. the Competition

  • Optics

Depending on the magnification and focal plane, optics will be different for not only all brands, but all products in one brand. Vortex has superior optics because of the lenses they use and the focal planes that they are on. Durability and weather resistance also makes the optics better than the competition’s.

  • Price

These devices come at a variety of prices just as they are with other brands. The more expensive options tend to have more features that make the optics accurate and precise. Cheaper options are not bad at all and they are just as quality as the more expensive devices, especially with Vortex.

  • Warranty

Vortex offers a limited lifetime warranty which is much more than some of their leading competitors. A lot of brands only offer a warranty for a few years which shows that they are not as confident in their products as Vortex is.

Care & Maintenance Tips

  • Clean your lenses

There are many ways that your lenses can get dirty or damaged from regular use. Cleaning them in the correct way can ensure that the optics last longer. You need to use a lens cloth and lens cleaner to clean them properly and without risking any damage.

  • Keep the rest of your scope clean

If you skip the body, there is no point in cleaning the lenses either. By making sure that your device is always clean in every area, you won’t be spending money on another one anytime soon. By doing this you will also make sure that there is nothing affecting the water and fog resistance of your optical tool.

  • Store it properly

If you are not using it or if you are traveling, remember to store your device carefully to prevent damage. Replace the lens caps and get a case that you can store it in while you travel.

Vortex Scopes: Use & Safety Tips

  • Adjusting the reticle

You need to look through the device at a white wall or even up in the sky. Once you’ve done this, you can turn the focus knob on the eyepiece until the reticle image is clear enough. You need to make the adjustment quickly before your eye starts focusing on the reticle.

  • Changing the magnification

This is the easiest process on a Vortex scope because you just have to turn the magnification knob. By turning it to the power you want it, the optics will magnify to that point.

  • Never look at the Sun

You can really damage your eyes if you look at the sun through these lenses. The brightness amplifies once it enters the objective lens making it a danger to your vision.


1. What Vortex scope magnification should I get?

Ans. It depends on the distances that you will be shooting at. Short ranges need less magnification whereas longer once require a higher magnification. Getting a scope that has a large magnification range will make it more versatile when it comes to distance.

2. Will wearing glasses make a difference with the use of a Vortex scope?

Ans. If the scope that you choose has a large enough eye relief then glasses should not make a difference. The larger the eye relief the better and more comfortable it will be for people wearing glasses.

3. Which Vortex scopes have the first focal plane?

Ans. The Diamondback Tactical is the only option on our list that has the first focal plane. The other devices are all on a second focal plane which is not a disadvantage. Both of these devices have their own pros and cons, but choosing one depends on your preference.

4. Which Vortex scopes have etched glass reticles, and which have wire reticles?

Ans. Most of the options on our list have etched glass reticles. While it is an advantage for stability and accuracy, it can easily be damaged if the lenses are damaged in any way.

About the author

Dan Goldsmith

Hi, this is Dan. We all know firearms are dangerous, but only when one doesn’t know how to use and care for them. I have 30+ years of experience with different types of guns and for the last 10 years, I have taught numerous people how to hold and shoot a gun while staying safe and keeping the surroundings unharmed.

My neighbors are some of my biggest admirers who enjoy talking to me about their guns, firearms safety and maintenance.

Whenever I am able to catch a moment of free time, you will find me enjoying my family or heading to the range on my motorcycle. I have enjoyed shooting sports ever since my dad introduced them to me as a child.

I like to think of myself as an outdoorsman who lives his life to the fullest. I hope you will benefit from my efforts to create valuable resources on this website. Happy reading!

Leave a Comment