Best Vortex Scopes of 2020 – Complete Round-up

| Last Updated: January 14, 2022

In the vast world of riflescopes, choosing a high-quality unit that doesn’t break the bank can be extremely difficult. Today, manufacturers usually focus on novelty, economy, and variety for their products, saving quality only for the high-end products. This results in inaccurate scopes that break down unexpectedly.

However, Vortex provides the answer to this common problem. They offer a wide range of optics for all kinds of shooters with the accuracy and quality of high-end companies but with an incredibly affordable price tag. However, with so many models, choosing the best scope can be extremely daunting and time-consuming.

To help you make the right decision, this guide includes detailed reviews of some of the best Vortex models, what makes the company stand out, and the pros and cons of using their scopes. So, make sure to go through all the reviews before finalizing your purchase!

Comparison Chart of Best Best Vortex Scopes

  • Designed with adjustable parallax, RZR zero stop, and laser-etched turrets
  • Reticle is equipped with 10 intensity levels that have off positions between every setting
  • With XR multi-coated lens and an Extra-low Dispersion (ED) glass, this is the best overall
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  • Powered by a CR2 battery, this is the runner-up
  • O-ring seals and nitrogen purging ensure waterproof and fog-proof performance
  • Designed with ten brightness settings and two color choices for dots, it allows shooters to make adjustments according to the lighting conditions
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  • Best for the money
  • Capped reset turrets can be adjusted with a finger and MAO clicks can be reset to zero
  • Ultra-forgiving eye box and long eye relief enable users to acquire their targets quickly
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  • Best Spotting Scope
  • Close focus of 6.6 feet makes it the best spotting scope
  • High density, extra-low dispersion (ED) glass and Triplet Apochromatic lens deliver unparalleled color fidelity and resolution
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  • Best Rifle Scope
  • Fully multi-coated lenses and Extra-low dispersion (ED) glass ensures a bright, crisp sight picture
  • Glass-etched, first focal plane reticle keeps subtensions accurate across the entire 4x zoom range
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  • Best Red Dot Scope
  • With a maximum windage and elevation adjustment of 90 MOA, this is the best red dot scope
  • Modular three-piece base provides four different mounting heights for weapon and user-specific customization
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  • Best Pistol Scope
  • Multi-coated, anti-reflection coating layer enables the highest light transmission
  • Waterproof construction keeps the internal parts protected from grease and dirty water
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Who is Vortex?

Vortex was founded in 1986 by Margie and Dan Hamilton and was originally an outdoor retail store in south-central Wisconsin. However, in 2002, it turned into an optics company and quickly developed a reputation for high-quality riflescopes around the world. Today, the company develops several different optic products, including red dot sights, rangefinders, spotting scopes, binoculars, and riflescopes.

All their developed products are engineered, designed, pre-inspected, and serviced to meet the highest quality standards. With dealers throughout the U.S., United Kingdom, South Africa, Canada, Europe, and Australia, Vortex is popular and widely praised by competition shooters and hunters worldwide.

How Does Vortex Compare to the Competition?

Breaking the norm by providing outstanding quality across an extremely diverse range of riflescopes, along with an exceptional warranty policy, Vortex truly stands out from its competition and gives users peace of mind. It excels in countless areas, including:

Brilliant Image Quality

Designed with fully multi-coated lenses, Vortex scopes minimize light reflection, ensuring a sharp image quality in all lighting conditions.

Wide Range of Magnification Options

Featuring magnification options from as high as 60x to as low as 2x for their countless product categories, the company has an extremely wide range of scopes designed for all types of rifles, including rimfires, modern ARs, muzzleloaders, and hog hunters.

High-Quality Material and Construction

All Vortex scope bodies are manufactured with aircraft-grade aluminum, with the cheapest ones crafted around a main, single-piece tube. This exceptional design ensures maximum structural integrity while keeping the unit lightweight at the same time. On the other hand, cheaper products of competitors don’t feature single-piece main tubes, comparatively making them less durable.

Consumer-Friendly Warranty

Vortex includes a VIP warranty with all their riflescopes and promises to replace or repair the unit free of cost if you find a fault or it gets damaged, with no questions asked. This completely transferable and unlimited warranty alone makes the company truly stand out from the crowd.

Characteristics of Our Favorite Scopes

With so many excellent models available in the market, choosing the best scope is no easy task. To ensure you don’t end up wasting your money, here are some things you should consider before making your purchase:


The magnification or power of the scope is arguably the most important aspect to consider. Make sure you choose the best unit with the right magnification. It’s also advisable to choose a model with variable power, as it allows users to adjust the scope according to the use.

Vortex Optics Viper PST Gen II Riflescopes

Parallax Connection

The parallax problem is a common occurrence when it comes to using a scope. It’s important to choose a unit that’s able to correct the parallax. Quality models enable users to adjust the parallax, so the scope maintains accuracy, even when there’s a bit of power adjustment.


The type and quality of optics are crucial aspects to consider before you choose a scope. The best optics ensure optimal outdoor performance. While Vortex models have exceptional optics, it’s better to choose one that has multi-coating on its lens. This ensures better transmission and light gathering. 

Review of the Best Vortex Scopes

With a global reputation for the best riflescopes in the market, Vortex develops optics for every budget. To help you find a model that suits your needs, here are detailed reviews of some of the best Vortex scopes available today:

Best Overall:
 Vortex Optics Viper PST Gen II


  • Armortek coatings prevent scratches and protect the lens from dirt and oil
  • Aircraft-grade aluminum, single-piece design ensures longevity and durability
  • Fiber optic rotation indicator allows users to keep track of the turret position easily
  • Argon-purged and O-ring sealed design deliver a fog-proof and waterproof performance
  • Reticle offers highly intuitive, detailed, and functional hold points, while remaining uncluttered for excellent viewing


  • The unit has unsatisfactory eye relief
  • A bit expensive compared to other models

What Recent Buyers Report

The majority of buyers were extremely impressed with this model, with one user stating they could see where the bullet hit from 600 yards away. They found the turrets to be super crisp, and the tracking to be incredibly accurate. They also stated it was easy to adjust, and particularly loved the RZR Zero Stop system. However, some customers found it a bit difficult to turn the illuminated reticle on and off, while some felt the quality control could be improved.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Featuring the company’s signature aircraft-grade aluminum, single-piece main tube design, this model ensures crisp, sharp imagery throughout the entire magnification range, even in difficult lighting conditions. With its proprietary multi-coated lenses and 50mm lens diameter, it provides superb image clarity, while the Extra-low Dispersion (ED) glass yields optimum color quality and image resolution. It further ensures smooth magnification adjustment and enables users to eliminate parallax, as well.

Who Will Use This Most

It is extremely versatile and perfect for medium to close-range shooting scenarios. If you’re a target shooter, long-range hunter, or PRS competitor, this is the scope for you. It’s also ideal for individuals looking for a unit with pro-level features at an affordable price tag.

Bottom Line

This scope truly takes solid tactical features and exceptional performance to entirely new heights. Designed with a precision-glide erector system and a precision-force spring system, the unit gives an unfair advantage to hunters and shooters seeking to have the upper hand in all close quarters and long-range situations.

Vortex Optics Strikefire II Red Dot Sight


  • Unlimited eye relief ensures quick target acquisition
  • Power controls are situated at the back for quick and easy access
  • Fully multi-coated lenses ensure a bright, unobscured, and clean point of view
  • Comes with an offset cantilever mount, enabling users to use it with backup iron sights and a magnifier
  • Lightweight and compact design delivers shockproof performance and is able to withstand both impact and recoil


  • Battery life is a bit low
  • A bit heavier than other models

What Recent Buyers Report

Almost all buyers were extremely satisfied with their purchase and loved the fact that it could be used right out of the box. They found its fit and finish to be superb, with one user stating it was able to withstand heat, humidity, rain, snow, and even drops from a greater height. Users also stated that it was easy to mount and found the controls to be intuitive and accessible. However, some customers reported seeing two dots and found the field of view to be too constricting.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The Strikefire’s parallax-free design is what truly makes it stand out from the crowd. This ensures better precision and accuracy when you’re shooting the target. The unit is further equipped with ten brightness settings, allowing users to make adjustments according to the different lighting conditions they are shooting in. This makes it easier for hunters to hunt early in the morning or late into the night when lighting conditions are not ideal.

Who Will Use This Most

This unit is perfect for scenarios where split-second target acquisition is required. Since it easily enhances your shooting experience, it’s great for beginners looking for something better. Whether you’re a hunter or shoot for defense, competition, or recreation, this model will certainly suit all your needs.

Bottom Line  

Offering maximum field of view and fast acquisition of targets, this model enables users to shoot with both eyes open. Versatile, reliable, and feature-rich, the model is perfect for shooters looking for a quality red dot sight. However, battery life is a bit low.

Best for the Money:
Vortex Optics Crossfire II 3-9x40 Second Focal Plane


  • Fast focus eyepiece ensures easy and quick reticle focusing
  • Customized dot design helps in eliminating guesswork on windage corrections
  • Quality construction and design ensure durability and shockproof performance
  • Proprietary fully multi-coated, anti-reflective lenses provide clear and bright views
  • Nitrogen-purged and O-ring sealed unit delivers exceptional fog-proof and waterproof performance


  • Not ideal for faster shooting
  • Quality control could be improved

What Recent Buyers Report

Most buyers loved the price of this model and recommended it to other hunters and shooters, as well. They found the turrets to be exceptional and stated that it provided a clear view, even in light rain and fog. Users also stated that it held its zero during multi-round shots and did not require any alterations. However, some buyers found the adjusting clicks a bit mushy, while some reported receiving defected units.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The Crossfire’s ease of use is what sets it apart from its competitors. The straightforward controls make it easy to use for every level of shooter. The fast focus knob only requires a simple turn until the reticle becomes clear and sharp and does not need to be refocused every time it’s used. Moreover, the elevation and windage dials create an audible click when an adjustment has been made, further ensuring ease of use.

Who Will Use This Most

While this unit has several different applications, it is ideal for beginners to intermediate 100+ yard shooters and hunters. People who are just beginning long-range shooting or have started experimenting with scopes will be able to easily learn the controls, while the quick adjustments will ensure a smooth zeroing process.

Bottom Line 

Designed with fully multi-coated lenses, long eye relief, resettable MOA turrets, and a fast-focus eyepiece, this unit offers the highest levels of reliability and performance. Although it provides everything a shooter requires for target practice, competition, or hunting, it is not suitable for faster shooting.

Best Spotting Scope:
Vortex Optics Razor HD Spotting Scope


  • XR Plus anti-reflective coatings yield maximum brightness for low-light glassing
  • Lightweight and compact design makes it extremely easy and convenient to use
  • Comes with lens covers, a rotating tripod mount, and a custom view-through case
  • Adjustable eyecup can be folded up and down, ensuring comfortable viewing, even without glasses
  • Macro adjustment enables users to focus quickly, while micro-adjustment enables them to fine-tune the image


  • Eye relief is a bit on the low side
  • Image quality lessens on higher magnification

What Recent Buyers Report

Almost all buyers loved this product and stated that it had a sharp, amazing glass. They found the details to be exceptional, and the image quality to be consistent throughout the image circle. Users also loved the slim shape that made it easy to handle and pack and reported that the hood worked nicely when the sun was out. However, some customers found the eye relief too short and said the loop for the front cover kept coming off.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The Razor primarily stands out to us because of its unique optical system. Designed with XR Plus fully multi-coated optics, the unit features an outstanding light transmission capacity that virtually eliminates all unpleasant light reflections. Moreover, the glass components used reduce chromatic aberration, resulting in stunning contrast. The triplet apochromatic lens further ensures the sharpest color distinction.

Who Will Use This Most

This unit is designed with features well-suited to birders, hunters, and nature enthusiasts on their day out. The magnification range makes it extremely convenient to use out in the field, making it perfect for birding and hunting. It can further be used for wildlife viewing and watching hummingbirds, chipmunks, squirrels, elk, and eagles.

Bottom Line

Beautifully combining premium scope construction and quality class with an extremely affordable price tag, this model is undoubtedly the best spotting scope available today. While its XR Plus multi-coated optics ensure sharp color distinction and stunning contrast, the eye relief could be improved.

Best Rifle Scope:
Vortex Optics Diamondback Tactical 6-24x50


  • Fast focus eyepiece ensures easy and quick reticle focusing
  • Ruggedly-built single piece tube is shockproof and able to withstand impacts and recoil
  • Nitrogen purging and strong O-ring seals guarantee fog-proof and waterproof performance
  • Elevation turrets feature Zero Reset, making it extremely quick and easy to adjust it back to zero
  • Precision-glide erector system ensures smooth magnification changes, even under harsh conditions


  • Reticle cannot be seen against white backgrounds
  • Reticle is not illuminated, so it might be difficult to see in low-light conditions

What Recent Buyers Report

Almost everyone who invested in this model was extremely happy with their purchase and stated that it was an excellent unit for the money. They found the parallax settings to be spot on and the reticle to be extremely eye-friendly. However, users started to get mirage at around 550 yards, while some found the crosshairs to be too fine for low-light situations.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This unit’s value for money is what makes it stand out from the crowd. Numerous coatings and Extra-low Dispersion glass ensure clear and crisp images, while a glass-etched first focal plane reticle helps in elevation corrections, ranging, and wind calls. Nitrogen purging further makes it waterproof and fog-proof, while the hard-anodized finish makes it capable of withstanding time and abuse.

Who Will Use This Most

This is an excellent entry-level scope that’s perfect for new shooters and experienced shooters searching for a back-to-basics unit for their gun, as well. To put it simply, it’s ideal for anyone looking for a long-range tactical optic that doesn’t break the bank.

Bottom Line  

Featuring a first focal plane reticle, exceptional optical clarity, robust tactical-style turrets, easy-to-use design, wide power range, and extremely precise tracking, this unit is certainly the best rifle scope available today. However, since the reticle is non-illuminated, it can be difficult to see in low-light conditions.

Best Red Dot Scope:
 Vortex Optics Sparc II Red Dot Sight - 2 MOA Dot


  • Parallax-free unit provides unlimited eye relief
  • Fully multi-coated lenses provide a clear and crisp field of view
  • Compact and lightweight design does not make your firearm bulky
  • Rear-facing power controls and 10 brightness levels make it easy to use and adjust
  • Manufactured with aircraft-grade aluminum, the unit delivers shockproof performance and is able to withstand impact and recoil


  • Front lens reflects light at certain angles
  • On/off button can be difficult to use for left-handed hunters or shooters

What Recent Buyers Report

The majority of buyers were extremely satisfied with their purchase and loved its simple controls. They stated that the dot was extremely sharp and clear, and could be seen in plain daylight, as well. Users also found the mounting process very easy, and the battery life excellent. However, customers were disappointed with the lack of a QD mount, while some reported receiving defected units.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Between the versatility offered by the multi-height mounting system, the compact design, and the incredibly refined good looks, the Sparc II truly shines when it comes to the different carbines, shotguns, and rifles it’s compatible with. This unit can be used with AR-15s, AR-22s, the 10/22 Raptor, the H&R 1871 Shotgun, and many more.

Who Will Use This Most

Equipped with a multi-height mounting system, this unit can be used with most weapons, including rifles needing lower or absolute 1/3 co-witness heights. Overall, it’s ideal for beginners, intermediate, and even advanced shooters. Its reliability and ease of use further make it perfect for all home defense needs.

Bottom Line  

To put it simply, this model certainly deserves a place on our list of top picks. It’s easy to use, extremely accurate, and durable like other higher-priced models but doesn’t come with the bells and whistles that increase their price. However, quality control could be improved.

Best Pistol Scope:
Vortex Optics Venom Red Dot Sights


  • Long battery life of almost fourteen hours
  • Ability to choose from 10 brightness levels
  • Sturdy construction with hard-ionized finish ensures durability
  • High-quality lens provides exceptional edge-to-edge resolution
  • Rugged aluminum housing and sturdy construction for a longer service life


  • Some people found the red dot to be inconsistent

What Recent Buyers Report

Buyers are amazed by the accuracy and consistency of this product. They find the auto shut-off and the auto-brightness features very helpful. Even in low light competitions, this product was able to deliver. The quick and friendly customer service is also another plus point. Buyers were extremely happy with their purchase, as it allowed them to save time and energy as they were able to move it from one firearm to another without requiring any adjustment.

Why it Stands Out to Us

We love the fact that this product is able to turn your shotgun, pistol, or AR into a more precise and deadly weapon. Its multi-coated lens provides users with a wide and clean field of view. The power button and dot intensity controls are easily accessible. Moreover, it is a sturdily built product that is able to withstand heavy recoil.

Who Will Use This Most

This versatile product is perfect for all gun owners as it comes with various features that help users achieve better accuracy in their shots. It is very easy to use, and during targeting, users can easily aim at the target through the glass. Users also have the freedom to choose between ten levels of brightness, thus making it perfect for target practice.

Bottom Line  

This amazing scope provides unlimited eye relief, which ensures the quick acquisition of targets. Its long battery life and simplicity of action are some of the features that make this product very popular among shooting enthusiasts. Moreover, the battery compartment is on top of the scope, thus eliminating the need to remove the optic when changing the battery. In short, this is a great accessory that will further enhance your shooting experience.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Vortex Scopes

The pros of Vortex scopes greatly outweigh their cons, making them an essential piece of equipment for every hunting enthusiast. To help you decide whether you should purchase a Vortex scope or not, the following are some advantages and disadvantages of using them:


Scopes on rifles provide plenty of benefits, with the primary one being higher accuracy. Some other pros include:

Accurate Shot Placement

Vortex scopes provide greater light-gathering and increased magnification, which help in identifying targets. This is especially useful in hunting, as the most advantageous times are the last and first hours of light every day. The extra minutes of shooting light provided by Vortex scopes can truly make the difference between a missed opportunity and a filled tag.

Take Shots From Longer Distances

Vortex scopes enable hunters to identify their targets from less-than-ideal locations, like through thick foliage. This helps hunters identify the specifics of the animal, such as if it’s legal to shoot. This is especially useful for individuals with poor eyesight, who can take full advantage of the magnification and clarity provided by quality Vortex scopes.

Longer Range

Vortex scopes provide users with a longer range. Targets at longer distances will now appear much nearer, giving hunters the comfort and space to take their desired shot. This further increases the success rate of bringing down your target.


However, there are some disadvantages to using these units, as well. Some of these cons include:


Generally, scopes are a bit bulky and heavy. If you’re planning on walking extensively on your hunt, then carrying an extra pound can quickly drain your energy, making the shot extremely difficult when the long stalk finally comes to an end.


Scopes that feature higher magnification usually take more time to acquire the target accurately. When your target is moving rapidly or you’re hunting in thick, heavy cover, scopes can be more of a hindrance than a help.


Vortex is globally recognized as one of the best riflescope manufacturers available today. Offering an extensive range of high-quality scopes, choosing the best model can be extremely overwhelming. Hopefully, with this guide, you can compare the different units and find the scope that perfectly suits your needs!

People Also Ask

Choosing the right Vortex model can be a difficult and technical task. To clear away any confusion you might have, the following are some of the most frequently asked questions regarding Vortex scopes. So, make sure you go through these questions before you finalize your decision!

Is Vortex Better Than Leupold?

Both Leupold and Vortex have excellent reputations and both develop exceptional optics, however, there is a large difference when it comes to the price range of their units. Vortex has an advantage over price, while Leupold has a slight advantage when it comes to the quality of their scope builds. However, the choice will ultimately come down to your personal preference.

Which Vortex Scopes are Made in the U.S.A.?

Although Vortex claims that all products are pre-inspected, engineered, designed, and serviced in-house, most riflescope components are actually manufactured in the Philippines, China, and Japan. 

Does Vortex Make a Pistol Scope?

The Crossfire Pistol Scope by Vortex is designed with an incredible 20” of eye relief and 90% light transmission. With a nitrogen-purged body, fully multi-coated lenses, and quality aluminum construction, it’s engineered to deliver a better performance than other similarly-priced units. The Venom Red Dot Sight can also be used with handguns.

Are Vortex Scopes Waterproof?

Yes! Almost all Vortex scopes are waterproof. Their argon gas-purged and O-ring sealed design not only ensures a waterproof performance but fog-proof performance, as well.

Does Vortex Have a Lifetime Warranty?

Yes! Vortex promises to replace or repair the product if it’s defective or becomes damaged, with no additional charges. If the company is unable to repair the unit, it will be replaced with a unit that’s in perfect working condition.