Vortex Strike Eagle Riflescope Review – A good Scope for Hunters?
The Vortex Optics Strike Eagle riflescopes are explicitly designed for the AR-15. The scopes are also intended for use in multiple shooting scenarios, from close-range to long-range shooting.
Vortex currently offers three different Strike Eagle models, including a 1-8x, 1-6x, and 5-25x model. The 1-8x and 1-6x models feature 24 mm lenses and the most versatile designs. The 5-25×56 mm model is built for long-distance shooting, with additional magnification and a larger lens.
All three models benefit from the high-quality manufacturing that Vortex is known for. The company has a reputation for releasing durable optics with the latest technologies at affordable prices.
The two low-magnification scopes in the Strike Eagle family cost a fraction of its closest competitors’ price, providing more value for your money. However, everyone has different preferences and shooting styles.
Vortex Optics Strike Eagle Review
To determine if a Vortex Strike Eagle is the right choice for your AR-15, you need to look at the main features, pros, and cons.
Overview of Features
The Vortex Strike Eagle riflescopes come in several designs with different magnification levels. However, all three models come with illuminated reticles, full multi-coatings, and single-piece tube construction.
The Strike Eagle riflescopes have glass-etched reticles, which provide crisp, clean reticle designs. The reticle is also protected between two layers of glass for increased durability.
Many of the other features and best uses depend on the model. The Vortex Strike Eagle 1-6×24 mm is the most popular model in the lineup. It was designed for use in competitions but provided an effective solution for almost any shooting scenario.
With 1-6x magnification, most individuals can hit targets at close or moderate ranges, making full use of the effective range of the typical AR-15. As you get to the limits of that range, you may notice some of the limitations of the scope.
The bullet-drop compensator (BDC) reticle found in the 1-6x and 1-8x models becomes less precise at full magnification. The 1-8x scope provides a little more range compared to the 1-6x model, but there are better options for shooting at targets 600 yards away.
If you are mostly interested in long-distance targeting, Vortex offers the 5-25×56 mm Strike Eagle. It has more powerful magnification, along with extra-low dispersion (XD) glass. The XD glass increases the resolution of the lens, resulting in a crisper, sharper sight picture.
The purported effective range with a standard 5.56 mm loadout is 400 to 600 yards. The crispness of the 5-25 x 56 mm Strike Eagle and extra magnification help you reach the upper range of the AR-15. However, for hunting, tactical use, or target shooting at distances of less than 400 yards, the 1-6x and 1-8x Strike Eagle scopes offer a more versatile option.
The magnification range depends on the model. The three options include 1-6x, 1-8x, and 5-25x.
6x to 8x magnification should be ideal for ranges between 300 and 600 yards with an AR-15. However, the 1-6x and 1-8x models also offer a true 1x zoom. At the lowest magnification power, the image is incredibly crisp and clear.
The magnification ring is a little stiff right out of the box. It also has a throw lever that allows you to quickly adjust the magnification with your thumb.
The 5-25x model has a similar design to the other models. However, the throw lever is not attached to the magnification ring. It comes separate in the box, allowing you to install it or leave it off.
The 25x magnification available on the larger scope is more than enough for reaching the limits of an AR-15. You may even find that you never use the highest magnification settings.
The reticle on the 5-25x Strike Eagle becomes fuzzier at the highest settings and covers more of the target. The field of view also shrinks, which may handicap you when hunting in low light.
The Vortex Strike Eagle 1-6x and 1-8x scopes include a glass-etched AR-BDC3 reticle. The reticle is specifically created to accommodate the ballistic performance of 5.56 cartridges fired from an AR-15. It has a 1 MOA center dot with BDC for distances up to 650 yards.
The 1-6x and 1-8x models also use the second focal plane design, which makes the reticle image appear to stay the same size at any magnification level. The drawback to the reticle being located on the second focal plane is that estimating for holdover and wind drift changes gets harder as you adjust the magnification.
The 5-25x model uses a first focal plane reticle, which increases or decreases the size of the image depending on the magnification level. Range estimates stay the same at any magnification setting, which is more convenient for long-distance shooting. However, some people dislike the FFP reticles due to the varying size of the reticle image.
At the lowest magnification level, the FFP reticle may appear too thin and difficult to read. At the highest magnification level, the reticle image may appear too thick and cover more of the target.
The 5-25x Strike Eagle also uses a different reticle design. Instead of the AR-BDC3 reticle, it has an EBR-7C (MOA) reticle, which features MOA subtension lines and floating wind hold dots for holdover and windage corrections.
Field of View and Objective Lens Size
The Vortex Strike Eagle 1-6x and 1-8x scopes have 24 mm lenses and wide fields of view. The field of view (FOV) on the 1-6x Strike Eagle is 116.5 to 19.2 feet at 100 yards.
The 1-8x model has a slightly smaller FOV of 109 to 14.4 feet at 100 yards. When using either model with the lower magnification settings, you have a broad view of your surroundings, which should make it easier to track moving targets.
The 5-25x Strike Eagle comes with a 56 mm lens and a narrower FoV at full magnification. The field of view at 100 yards is 24 feet at the lowest magnification. At the highest magnification level, the FOV is just 5.2 feet.
All three models have generous eye relief. The smaller scopes have a 3.5-inch eye relief. The 5-25x model has an eye relief of 3.7-inches. This is relatively standard for riflescopes, as it provides enough distance for dealing with the recoil from the AR-15.
These are not the highest end scopes. You are likely to notice some reduction in clarity in low light settings. However, the StrikeEagle scopes offer adequate light transmission, especially when compared to scopes in the same price range.
The lenses are fully multi-coated for increased light transmission. They have multiple coatings on all air-to-glass surfaces.
The reticles are also illuminated, which increases the sharpness of the image in low light settings. The scopes are equipped with 11 brightness settings.
The illuminated reticle is powered by a CR2032 battery, which should provide about 150 hours of use. Luckily, the scope includes a spare battery compartment in the windage cap.
Tube Diameter and Design
The Vortex Strike Eagle 1-6x and 1-8x scopes have 30 mm tubes, while the 5-25x rifle scope has a 34 mm tube. All models have shockproof, waterproof, and fog-proof construction features.
The Vortex scopes meet IPX7 waterproofing standards and have rugged construction to withstand impact and recoil. They are also nitrogen purged to prevent fogging in various temperatures.
As with almost any modern riflescope, the tubes are constructed from aircraft-grade aluminum. The Strike Eagle scopes also feature single-piece scope tubes for increased durability and alignment. The exterior is then coated with a matte anodized finish to prevent corrosion and create an anti-glare surface.
Turrets and Adjustments
The Strike Eagle riflescope is equipped with a fast-focus eyepiece and Vortex’s patented RevStop Zero System. The innovative system makes it easier to set return to zero after your turret adjustments.
The 1-6x and 1-8x Strike Eagle have low-capped turrets for windage and elevation adjustments. They are easy to turn and use 1/2 MOA clicks with a max range of 140 MOA for windage and elevation.
The parallax setting is fixed at 100 yards, which is standard for most sporting rifle scopes. Parallax should not be an issue until you reach the upper limits of the AR-15’s range of about 600 yards.
For parallax-free aiming at long distances, you may want the 5-25×56 mm Strike Eagle rifle scope. Instead of a fixed parallax setting, the scope has a knob with parallax adjustment from 15 yards to infinity.
Final Thoughts on Review of the Vortex Strike Eagle Scopes
The Vortex Strike Eagle riflescopes are affordable options for budget-minded marksmen. The scopes are designed specifically for the AR-15, which is most apparent when looking at the reticle. The 1-6x and 1-8x scopes have AR-BDC3 reticles for use with an AR-15 firing 5.56 cartridges.
The StrikeEagle scopes allow you to make the most out of the effective range of the AR-15. Whether you are hunting, plinking, or competing, the 1-6x and 1-8x scopes provide fast target acquisition at close to moderate ranges.
The highest magnification levels of the 1-6x and 1-8x Strike Eagle scopes may help you reach targets at 600 yards, but the 5-25 x 56 mm scope is better suited for long-distance shooting. However, it may offer more magnification than you need.
The maximum effective range of the AR-15 is about 600 yards. 25x magnification at 600 yards with the Strike Eagle may decrease the reticle’s clarity, your FOV, and your accuracy.
In the end, the 1-6x and 1-8 x 24 mm Strike Eagle scopes are low-priced, versatile scopes that are suited for almost any shooting scenario with an AR-15. However, if you solely use your AR-15 for long-distance hunting or target shooting, you may gain better accuracy with one of the middle magnification settings on the 5-25x56mm Strike Eagle.