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Vortex Optics has become very popular in the gun world as of late. While the main focus has been on their series of close range red dot optics like Strikefire II that are well made and affordably priced. Vortex’s variable scope line has been picking up steam as well and are well reputed for their quality, clarity, and their Made in America factor.
The Vortex Strike Eagle is one of their newest variable rifle scopes and is designed specifically with semi-automatic modern sporting rifles in mind. Rifles like the AR 15, the ARAK 21, and the Ruger Mini series are all perfect examples of a rifle that can be improved with an optic. The Strike Eagle is a compact optic with a 1 to 6 power variable zoom, and a 24mm objective lens. The Vortex Strike Eagle is a versatile optic that can be used in a wide variety of different shooting situations.
Compared To Cheaper Bushnell AR Optic
Vortex Strike Eagle
Bushnell AR Optics
|Length:||10.5 inches||9.5 inches|
|Weight:||17.6 oz||16.9 oz|
|Reticle:||AR-BDC||Drop Zone-223 BDC|
|Eye Relief:||3.5 in||3.5 in|
|Product Page:||Click Here||Click Here|
Straight From The Box
The Strike Eagle is compact, but it’s not as small as say an Aimpoint, but the size of the box surprised me at first. It is cardboard box but looks slick. Very high speed with your optic and Vortex proudly displayed. You get the optic, a lens cloth, a card to reach the owner of Vortex, and a manual. The optic is packaged well and protected from the perils of package delivery services. Also, as I went to throw the box away a battery dropped out, a simple CR 2032, which powers the illuminated reticle, make sure you look in to the box and find it.
The Strike Eagle comes with two scope caps already mounted. The optic is matte black with the Vortex and Strike Eagle logos on the lens cap and objective lens. The tube is actually 30 mm which is surprising when you consider Vortex is an American company. Then you stumble across the made in China tag. This may due to the fact that a lot of single piece mounts are 30 mm, and single piece mount would work the best when mounting this on an AR.
The Strike Eagle has quite a few controls on it. We’ll start with the magnification ring, it lists the magnification levels from 1 to 6. The magnification moves nicely, it’s somewhat stiff and more than likely will become more and more smooth as time goes on. The magnification ring also has a throw lever, which is a nub that allows the user to rapidly change the magnification which I like. At the edge of the rear lens is the focus ring that is small, but it’s not something you’ll use much anyway.
You have the standard elevation and windage turrets, and then an extra knob for the illuminated reticle. The illumination adjustment goes from off to 11. The reticle is glass etched so illumination is not required. One feature I loved on the Vortex PST was the off position between each illumination setting, which allowed users to instantly go from off to their favorite illumination setting. This feature is missing from the Strike Eagle.
The elevation and windage turrets are finger tip adjustable but are very, very small once the caps are off. The turrets are textured for an easy grip, though. If they were just a bit bigger they’d be much easier to grip, especially with gloves. Adjustments are made in ½ MOA measurements, which are broad changes, but this is not a long range precision rifle scope.
The Strike Eagle’s limited magnification keeps it firmly in the realm of tactical and competition work. The optic’s very light and it’s easy to use. The Strike Eagle could be used for limited hunting applications, and would be handy for hunting varmint, and predators.
Mounting and Zeroing.
I like Vortex mounts and had a 30mm cantilever mount laying around, so it seemed appropriate to mount a Vortex optic on a Vortex mount. I used my standard M&P 15 with Magpul furniture and flat top upper. I did a bore sight before zeroing to save a bit of time, pretty simple procedure. Zeroing was done at 25 yards. The big broad adjustments made it short work, and the boresight of course helped.
Performance On Range
We ran the Strike Eagle at a variety of different ranges, the reticle is their AR-BDC reticle. The reticle has its own manual and I suggest taking a look at so you understand how it all works. It’s a standard BDC and is labeled out to six hundred yards. This sounds optimistic, but isn’t, the AR can accurately and easily reach out to 600 yards.
Spinning the dial down to 1x and standing at 15 yards we set up two man sized targets with playing cards placed on the head and chest. Hitting the cards was a hit, anything else was a miss. We fired single shots, hammer pairs, and failure to stop drills. The top crosshair is good between 20 yards and 200 yards. At 15 yards there wasn’t a big difference so it worked. Starting the drills we were slow, took our time to ensure we actually hit the target. With a bit of practice though our speed increased drastically and while it has a glass etched reticle without illumination it’s pretty tough to see.
We backed out to on to one, two, and three hundred yards with the optic and used standard man-sized targets with Shoot N C targets pasted to their chests. We got to test the reticle bullet drop compensator and it was spot on. The 300-yard crosshair was accurate at 300 yards. If we were talking about combat shooting the optic was perfect, if we were talking about precision and making small groups, where you are judging fractions of an inch in scoring this isn’t the optic to go with.
Wrapping it Up
The Strike Eagle is a second focal plane scope so as you manipulate the magnification the drop compensator will be slightly less and less precise. It’s minor for most shooters, but it bears mentioning. For a $350 price tag it has a nice durable single piece tube , aircraft aluminum build and on top of that it’s proofed from all elements. Great optic for tactical and competition work where you need fast target acquisition with occasional need to engage targets at distance too.
All in all for the price point, it’s not an easy optic to beat for an AR.
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