Tag Archives: scope review

Vortex Viper PST 4-16x50mm FFP EBR-1 Scope

After the excellent experience I had with my Zeiss, I went looking for another high-powered tactical variable-power scope. I found what I was looking for in the Vortex Viper PST 4-16x50mm First Focal Plane. Like so many of my optics and accessories, I purchased the Viper PST through Primary Arms.

I’ve used the Viper PST  on a variety of different weapons and barrels. The first was a Ballistic Advantage 16 inch Medium Heavy Rigid barrel. I was so impressed with it that the Viper PST (in an American Defense Recon Mount) became my standard optic for use in evaluating barrel accuracy. The PST is the scope I turned to when testing both the Tactical Government and Pencil profile 14.5 inch middy barrels from Ballistic Advantage.


Aimpoint PRO

Red dots are an almost immediate upgrade for anyone who owns a firearm because they are extremely simple and highly effective. What the hunter, the sport shooter, our military, and law enforcement agents are looking for is a cost effective, low maintenance red dot sight that will handle the most extreme conditions to accomplish the most demanding missions. They don’t want another thing to worry about when operating their weapon, they just want to point and shoot. The Aimpoint PRO goes above and beyond just the point and shoot factor, exceeding all expectations by operating reliably and effectively in almost any condition.


Sightmark Sureshot

The Sightmark Sureshot is a great budget optic for all most anything. From hunting to speed shooting to plinking, the Sureshot is light, strong, easy to use, and rather cheap. I know that most people are very skeptical of a sight like this thinking to it will break when it’s used or it won’t hold zero. That is not the case; it holds zero and I haven’t put a scratch in it yet.


Staff Optics Review: Horus Vision Blackbird II

By Kurt Gruber, TGR Staff Writer

You can rarely win a 3-gun match on the long-range stage or stages.  In outlaw 3-gun however, where the penalties for missing long range targets are multiplied versus misses on any other target in the match, it is pretty easy to lose a match there.  It is because of this that more of the top names in 3-gun shooting have gone away from the 1-4x optics that had been the standard in these matches, leaning toward optics that extend to 6 or 8x.  Enter the Horus Vision Blackbird II optic that combines the capability of 1.5-8x magnification with the amazing Horus H59 reticle that combines a mil grid in the first focal plane for effective and fast long-range target acquisition and a red dot in the second focal plane for fast acquisition of close range targets.


Vortex Strikefire Red Dot Review

Howdy, today I want to go over the Vortex Strikefire Red dot scope. Vortex looks to be putting out some pretty nice stuff these days. I am looking forward to trying out their other red dot called the SPARC and the 3x red dot magnifier soon as well as their Viper Tactical 24x scope. Anyway, today is the Strikefire. Online there are tons of customer remarks on websites that sell the thing and 99.9% of them are very positive. I have to say I agree.


Aimpoint T1 vs Trijicon TR24 vs Leupold Patrol review

Aimpoint T1 vs Trijicon TR24 vs Leupold Patrol

A quick compare of 3 different optics for up shooting close on the move
Not suprisingly, the T1 was the “easiest” to shoot fast
Followed by the TR24 red triangle
Then the Leupold Patrol 1.25-4



Ray Brock, Leupold Tactical Product Line Manager goes over the new Leupold Mark 8 3.5-25



Falcon 1.5-5×35 scope review

I purchased this scope a few months ago for use on an AR-15 rifle. I wanted an optic that would be useful at close to medium range, since I intended to use this rifle for predator & pest/critter control.

Pros: well constructed, mil/mil reticle & adjustments, rubberized magnification ring, dual red/green illumination, affordable price, 30mm tube

Cons: large eyepiece interferes with some models of BUIS on rail-top platforms like AR-15

I have had good luck with falcon scopes in the past, and for the price they really continue to impress me. The others have been sold over the years, but this one is going to be staying a long time. I really like this for the role I am using it in, and I do find the illumination to be useful in low light situations. It is bright enough to be daytime visible, and the glass is pretty darn good for the price.I do not find the capped turrets to be a hinderance, since i’m not doing a lot of dialing for range/wind. The reticle is well thought out, and is very friendly when doing the old “kentucky windage”, which works fine for me when shooting at undesireable four legged critters. It also works pretty well on perched magpies, which was the very first thing I “eliminated” with this rifle/scope combination right after building it.

Make no mistake, this scope is not on par with nightforce and similar such optics, but it also doesn’t cost upwards of a thousand dollars. I don’t know that I trust it enough to take it to war or anything, but it certainly works well enough for pest control around here. I would recommend this to someone looking for an affordable optic for close-medium range work in a non-critical situation (aka not mil/LEO use). I will probably buy another one of these for a .22 project in the near future.

By: Brad Woodard


Premier Reticles Light Tactical 3-15X50mm Review

Premier Reticles Light TacticalPremier Reticles Light Tactical

Premier Reticles Light Tactical 3-15X50mm.  We’ve had this scope mounted on a Browning X-Bolt .25-06 for about two months now and have had the opportunity to test it in a variety of conditions – from hot and sunny days at the range to hunting in the rain.  Specs:

  • 3-15 magnification, 50mm lens.
  • First focal plane.
  • Light Tactical is a 30mm tube compared to the Heritage 34mm tube.
  • The Light Tactical is considerably lighter (at 24.0oz) than the full-size Premier Reticles Heritage.
  • Glass is bright, very clear edge-to-edge.
  • The two-revolution tactical turrets have a window that indicates position.  This is a nice feature that allows you to tell positioning at a glance.
  • Turret clicks have a nice, positive, tactile feel.
  • Parallax turret.
  • Lens covers included.
  • We ordered the non-illuminated Gen 2 mil-dot.  Gen 2 XR (Christmas tree) available.
  • Etched glass reticles for the ultimate in stability and reliability.

Vortex Razor HD 1-4 Review

Vortex has been making quite a splash on the tactical optics market the last couple of years. They are getting this for a few key reasons:

  • They are listening and responding to what their customer’s want. Primarily Scott at Vortex has been active on the tactical and optics forums. This postives of this kind of interaction can not be overstated. Smart companies adopt to the latest trends and take advantage of them
  • Customer service: Vortex is earning a reputation for being a no hassle company, should you run into a problem, they simply take care of it, not fuss, no BS.
  • The right features and specs for a fair market price, i.e., a good value.

1-4 scopes have been all the rage the last 2 years and everyone wants a true 1x for CQB type use, much like using a red dot. We also want to be able to reach out and make accurate shots as well as be able to identify targets well. Red dots solve the CQB issue but lack when it comes to distance and or low light. Adding a magnifier in a flip to side mount helps with the latter but adds a lot of weight and just is more crap on the gun to deal with. Been there, tried that, pass. As most people have come to realize a better option is a 1-4 with a true 1x for close in work with a 4x magnification at the top end. That’s enough to easily hit COM at 3-400 yards and beyond.

Vortex Razor HDs utilize High Dispersion glass which means, in short, exceptional clarity, resolution, contrast and brightness. Frankly, it’s right in there with the top end European glass in a package that costs less.

We reviewed two models, the CQM-R and EBR 556


  • first focal plane reticles
  • 30mm tubes
  • illuminated reticles with an 11 position switch with off postitions between each number.
  • glass etched reticles
  • Length: 10.3″
  • Weight: 20oz

CQM-R model

Features a MOA based reticle design that appers much like a simple duplex in the center of the scope at 4x and as you turn down the magnification, heavy bars from the side and bottom start to come out and form what resembles a heavy German # 4 reticle which draws the eye towards the center.

There is a BDC calibrated elevation turret with 2 sets color coded BDC numbers. Running a 100 yard zero with out 700 yard markings.

• Green numbers match 62 gr. M855 5.56mm ammunition.

• Copper numbers match 55 gr. M193 5.56mm ammunition.

The turret features a red fiber optic pin to show you where your zero setting is at.

We tested the BDC out to 500 yards and it worked as advertized.

EBR 556 model

Features a BDC calibrated reticle and is based around a 55g .223 round.The center of the reticle is a circle that has an outside diameter of 19″, about the same width as a human torsoe, This allows ranging at varyying distances which are covered in the manual in depth. Running a 100 yard zero you have out to 700 yards in 100 yard increments. Addtionally, there are 10 MPH hold offs to allow for wind drift at the varying distances.

The elevation and windage turrets are the same MOA with .25 MOA clicks and zero feature that the CQM-R have (minus the BDC feature as it’s incorporated into the reticle)

Which model is right for me?

Really, that is purely a presonal preference and based on whether you want to dial in your extended distances or use the reticle to do it for you. Both have their pluses and minuses. Some people like the simpler reticle and prefer to dial in their distance and feel BDC reticles are too busy, others want the faster engagement of the BDC reticle.

Bottom line

These are both well made and well though out scopes.

They have great glass and are built tough and come with a lifetime zero hassle warranty. They have a street price in the 12-1300 dollar range and are good solid values. FFP scopes enable the ranging functions of the scope to be used at all magnification levels as opposed to say at the highest setting like most 2nd focal plane scopes.

We ran both scopes hard for several months with zero issues.

The turrets had a postive feel to them with an uadible click, they both passed the box test upon arrival and at the end of the test period.

I certainly look forward to more time with Vortex optics, in fact, we have purchased a few of the 2-7 viperss as they are absolute standouts in the 2-7 hunting market.


Vortex Viper 2-7 review

Vortex Viper 2-7

Vortex Optics has been generating a lot of interest lately and when the need for a 2-7 came up I decided to see if the little Viper 2-7 lived up to the hype.

We ordered 2 of them, one with a standard plex style reticle and the C3 which is a circle type reticle over a German #4.

These scopes are nice and compact with suprisingly good glass.

I would put the glass at a level with a more expensive scopes.

I like the power ring on these scopes, it’s easy to change the power setting even with gloves on.

I put the scope on a Browning Micro Hunter in 308, it’s a great fit and as the pictures show, it works quite well.

B Stewart


Kahles CL 3-10×50 Multizero review

I have been using the Kahles CL 3-10×50 with the multizero reticle for several years.

This scope has taken numerous game, absolutely holds zero and I trust it 1000%

It’s a FANTASTIC scope, stunning clarity, great glass etched 4A reticle that is bold enough to be used in very, very low light when you would lose a normal plex reticle, yet fine enough in the middle to shoot 1/2″ groups at 300 yards.

Glass Quality

The scope is extremely bright and has excellent resolution and contrast.

On a recent hunt I got to test it against another really good scope, a Nikon Monarch 2.5-10×42. At approximately 30 minutes after sunset, deer came out from the trees at about 300 yards and were barely visible to the naked eye. We watched the deer through both scopes until they could no longer be seen with the Nikon and were easily seen with the Kahles.. to the point you could have easily made the shot, even without an illuminated reticle due to the 4a reticle.

The Nikon belonged to my father, a lifelong serious hunter. When he first looked through the Kahles his response was “OH WOW!”

It absolotely made a believer out of him.

Multizero Reticle.  I love the MZ feature, in short, you dial in a preset base zero (in my case 100 yards) and then dial in 4 additional presets at extended ranges.  I run a 100 yard base, then have 2, 3, 4 and 500 yard zeros which I caluclated with a ballistics calculator, adjusted then verified at the range.

I can remove the elevation cap, and go to any of the presets very quickly (or in between them), since it has a zero stop, I simply rotate it counterclockwise until it stops for my 100 yard base zero. To go to the other zeros, I simply rotate until I get to the desired index marking. I keep it set at the 200 yard setting when out hunting and if in a blind with potential longer shots, I use my range finder to take reference yardage points, a cliump of trees, etc..

As happened recently, a group of deer came out between 250 and 275 yards, I simply dialed between the 2 and 300 yard reference indexes on the turret, settled in and took the shot. Textbook perfect bullet placement. Zero guessing, zero tracking!

These scopes have glass right there with the top of the line Swarovski and Zeiss.

Keep making them, I will keep buying them.

SWFA are great people to deal with.