Rifle Scopes Review: 2.5-10x32 Vortex Viper PST FFP

JGB02

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Until this scope came out, offerings for a variable and lightweight low to mid power scope with side focus and a tactical reticle were pretty much non-existent. Nightforce discontinued its 2.5-10x24, which pretty much just left the 2.5-10x32. The Nightforce scope is pretty nice, but I refused to buy it because it is ~ $1600 and only SFP and it has no side focus parallax adjustment. For me, having a scope that dials down to 2.5 is essential because I need the extra field of view when hunting in the woods here in CT. I also wanted something that I could get up to 10 power for when I take the rifle to the range or get the opportunity to hunt with my rifle at longer distances (in my line of work I move every 3 years). I suppose I could've gone with Vortex's 2.5-10x44 Viper HS, but I've read mixed reviews on its glass qualities, it only comes with a v-plex or BDC reticle, no FFP, and no illumination. At just under $700, Vortex's new 2.5-10x32 pretty much fits the bill. It's $900 less than the Nightforce, and it is FFP, and it has side focus. It comes with all the features that make Vortex's PST line great: mil/mil turrets with a nice tactical reticle, as well as illumination (something great for those early morning shots). It is only a little more expensive than the Viper HS, but has an order of magnitude more capability. For those that hunt predators, this FFP scope should be a dream come true, as it is nice and light (just over 18 oz) and offers the ability to conveniently and quickly compute ranges at any magnification. It would probably work very on an AR platform as well.

The scope comes with all kinds of goodies. Vortex includes the inspection certificate, a CR2032 battery, a scope bikini cover, lint free cloth, shims, allen wrench, manuals, and a Vortex pin to put on your hat or stock pack (some companies, like SFWA, include absolutely nothing with the scope). I'm sure many people on this forum know this, but Vortex pretty much has the best warranty you can ask for (fully transferable, no BS, good for life). The glass is nice and clear. With Rob01, we were able to clearly make out vehicles traveling on RT-32 across the Thames about 1000 yds away. The sight picture remains nice and clear at all magnification levels, and the sight picture stays clear even at the extreme edges of the sight picture. As you can see from the pic below, the eye box is nice and big (1.63") and provides the user a generous amount of eye relief. The turrets have a nice and distinct tactile feel, and the illumination feature goes off between each magnification intensity level so that the user can quickly switch on and off between the user's desired illumination level.

Here is a picture of it mounted on my 270 Win hunting rifle:
vortex 2.5-10x32.jpg

Another feature I love about this scope is that it has a long enough tube to let me mount it on a two piece base set with a long action rifle. I have had other scopes that too short a tube to allow this, which means needing to use a one piece rail that blocks access to the magazine.

I mounted this scope up with a NF two piece, 20 MOA picatinny rail and a set of low Vortex rings. Even with low rings there is lots of room between the barrel and the objective. With the butler creek cap, there was just enough room for the bolt to clear and not be in the way. (The objective uses size 13-15 Multiflex and the eyepiece uses size 16). I was able to boresight and get on paper on the first shot, needing only 0.5 mils right and and 1.5 mils down to get right on target. I then did my scope tracking check, and it was dead on at 2, 4, and 9 mils of elevation travel. That was enough for me to confirm the scope's quality and function on a cold (32F) and breezy March day.

I want to thank the folks at Vortex for getting me a great military pricing deal on this awesome scope, MidwayUSA on getting me the low Vortex rings, and Better Optics LLC for coming through with the NF two piece base set (very hard to find right now).
 

DaveInGA

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Thank you for the review, sounds like just the scope I've been looking for. Where can it be purchased now?
 

RRA_45

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They are nice. I would say not quite as clear as the SS 3-9X42 but they have features it doesn't. Illumination, zero stop, having 2.5-10 power adjustment, more audible and tactile adjustments, and lighter. The SS though is clearer, has more internal adjustment range, and feels a little more solid. I have had both. The lack of illumination for the SS makes the Vortex more desirable for me.
 

ORD

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Nov 12, 2005
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CALL Scott at liberty Optics.

+1 on this advice!! Scott will take very good care of you. However, if Scott is out of stock, you can get with multiple other Hide vendors, including but not limited to Doug and the guys at CamerlandNY.
 

rchman

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Dec 21, 2010
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I wanted to dig up this old thread to briefly add my experience with the new 2.5-10x32 Vortex.

I'm was not a very big fan of the Vortex glass (based on my experience with a SFP 6-24x and a 2.5-10x44) so I was hesitant to purchase this scope, but needed something as a temporary piece until my USO comes. I must say that I'm wholly impressed with this over my past two PST's. The knobs have a more positive click and feel to them than the other two scopes and the glass is bright and clear. I don't have a high end scope to compare side to side, but overall, I was impressed whereas the two previous models left me disappointed.

I'm even more anxious to get the USO in my hands now so that I can compare the two side by side, but there's a glimmer of hope now that this might not just be a temporary scope.

Does anyone know if the changes are specific to this model, or are the other PSTs getting a slight upgrades too?
 

Triangle1

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Great information in this review, thanks for helping me decide and not waist potentially as much as $1000+ dollars on another brand.
 

Apex360

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I think you just closed the deal for me on choosing a Vortex.
 

OpticsPlanet

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I have one, and the only two problems I can find is that I don't get to shoot enough, and now I want another for my 2nd AR. The optic is excellent - it's my first FFP, and it won't be my last. Mine came with a pin too, I was under the impression that it was included in all of the Viper PST packaging.

Mark H.
 

SPAK

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Apr 3, 2009
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Out of all my pst scopes this one is my favorite.....I find it easier to shoot with the better clarity at 10x than I did at 16x on my 4-16. I've only had it out to 600 yards so far and it is replacing the 4-16 on my mountain rifle..

i might pick up another one for my 18" SPR. It'd fit the ticket perfectly..
 

Bradu

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I am very happy with the one I bought for the wife's ar. My only complaint is the reticle is pretty small at 2.5 power but I knew it would be going into it.
 

ego235

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I kinda bashed Vortex PST line in the past, the glass was very mediocre from the ones I saw at the range. I sold my Premier Light Tactical and got one of these 2.5-10x32s to try out after hearing the glass improved. I'm now a fan and a month later bought a second one. Unfortunately the second one is going back to get a minor issue resolved but they have such fast turnaround and offered to pay for my shipping both ways. Great price, quality and service, hard to beat.
 

pc3

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I kinda bashed Vortex PST line in the past, the glass was very mediocre from the ones I saw at the range. I sold my Premier Light Tactical and got one of these 2.5-10x32s to try out after hearing the glass improved. I'm now a fan and a month later bought a second one. Unfortunately the second one is going back to get a minor issue resolved but they have such fast turnaround and offered to pay for my shipping both ways. Great price, quality and service, hard to beat.

Ego235 what was the issue you had to get fixed ? How had it been going since ?
 

ego235

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They took care of it super fast. Literally got it back within 2 weeks from the time I shipped it which incredibly fast since I'm on the east coast. The problem was a piece of anodizing came off and stuck itself to the glass. Could not get it off no matter how many times I smacked it against a phonebook.
 

pc3

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They took care of it super fast. Literally got it back within 2 weeks from the time I shipped it which incredibly fast since I'm on the east coast. The problem was a piece of anodizing came off and stuck itself to the glass. Could not get it off no matter how many times I smacked it against a phonebook.

Thanks for that...I'd like to confirm the information that I read stating this PST was designed to be at least as durable as the MK4. I wonder what they changed if it is the case ?

Is it the machined lock rings for and aft the lenses ?
 

rchman

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Side by Side Comparison: Bushnell 6500 2.5-16x, USO 1.8-10x, IOR 3-18x and PST

I just wanted to post a brief update since my brother and I had a chance to spend some time with four of our scopes together side by side: a USO MR-10 1.8-10x, Bushnell 6500 2.5-16x, IOR 3-18x and the Vortex 2.5-10x32.

We didn't spend much time comparing against the Bushnell 6500 because of the obvious difference between it and the other three when it came to clarity, resolution and general visual appeal, so I'll just leave it at that.

For the others, it was surprisingly a lot closer. Below are some unorganized notes of what we saw:

1. Color: the IOR had a slight yellowish cast to it. It was hard going from it to the other two as it made the others look "cold" and unsaturated. Looking at it on its own, the warmth is not distracting enough to notice. When comparing the USO and Vortex, their color was close enough that it was hard to tell.
2. Knob Feel: The IOR had less distinct clicks and knob feel compared to the other two. USO was more of a "thunk, thunk, thunk" feel while the Vortex could be best described as, a very crisp, glass like feel (no so much as a S&B).
3. Power Ring: Wow, the USO's felt awesome. It required an effort to move the Vortex's, which was annoying to some extent. Didn't pay attention to the IOR since my bother was adjusting it when we were comparing.
4. Resolution & Clarity: This was the most surprising bit, neither of us could really tell a difference between the 3 when on 10x looking at an object about 50yd away. We always see people say about how much better Brand X glass is than Brand Y, but either the USO and the IOR are just not that good, or the Vortex is that good, or once you get to a certain point, only the anal retentive can tell a difference (no offense intended - in photography, we call them the pixel peepers, those that look for flaws in high end cameras at the pixel, blown up level).
5. Eyebox: The USO was the winner in this one, it was the easiest to get behind and most forgiving to us bobbing our heads around. The Vortex may have slightly edged out the IOR.
6. General feel behind the glass: I don't know what the correct term for this is, but the USO seemed to have the biggest picture. Not so much that it had the widest field of view (which may be it), but looking behind it, it just felt BIG. Your eye just wanted to explore and enjoy the view. The IOR was behind it and the Vortex behind the IOR.
7. Illumination: IOR didn't have it. I liked the Vortex's better than the USO. For some reason the USO is not as evenly lit (???).
8. Minimum Distance: Indoors, both the USO and Vortex had usable reticles at 5 yards or so on the lowest power. The IOR did not, it's like it's minimum parallax was 100 yards. At 10x, it couldn't focus at 30 yards while the other two were fine.

Closing thoughts on this was that if the Vortex was going on a backup gun, it's hands the down winner at roughly 1/2 to 1/3rd the price of the other two. However, since my knob fell off due to shoddy gluing and numerous other complaints that have recently popped up on SH, I don't trust it on my primary rifle. I'm not sure if I trust the USO either due to reports on the internetz, but there is something awe inspiring when you hold a US Optics scope in your hand from a mechanical/physical standpoint that makes you want to believe it can stand up to anything short of being tossed off a building. So, if you are willing to risk reliability, then the Vortex is without a doubt the best value.
 
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ego235

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6. General feel behind the glass: I don't know what the correct term for this is, but the USO seemed to have the biggest picture. Not so much that it had the widest field of view (which may be it), but looking behind it, it just felt BIG. Your eye just wanted to explore and enjoy the view. The IOR was behind it and the Vortex behind the IOR.

I get that feeling too, the glass is very good, high resolution with decent contrast but the image appears small...VERY similar to the feel I got on my Leupold MK4 scopes. When looking at something at the same power as my old NightForce, the image in the eyepiece just seemed a bit smaller. Again, this does not pertain to field of view. Sort of like if you opened a jpeg image and just scrolled in once. The image appears slightly larger on the screen. Not sure if there is a specific term to describe this.

Can't fault the scope for much else though. I took it out on my pencil barreled SCAR 16s and managed to score 3 out of 5 hits on a steel plate turkey head about 2" in diameter at 385m (428y) today. For me 10x is plenty of magnification for a .223 rifle.
 
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5RWill

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    I get that feeling too, the glass is very good, high resolution with decent contrast but the image appears small...VERY similar to the feel I got on my Leupold MK4 scopes. When looking at something at the same power as my old NightForce, the image in the eyepiece just seemed a bit smaller. Again, this does not pertain to field of view. Sort of like if you opened a jpeg image and just scrolled in once. The image appears slightly larger on the screen. Not sure if there is a specific term to describe this.

    Can't fault the scope for much else though. I took it out on my pencil barreled SCAR 16s and managed to score 3 out of 5 hits on a steel plate turkey head about 2" in diameter at 385m (428y) today. For me 10x is plenty of magnification for a .223 rifle.

    Resurrecting an old thread but that is good to hear. My 2.5-8X36mm MK4 M2 is very clear to my eyes, i love that little thing, have it on an AR as well. What i'm wondering is two fold. Is there some difference between this new PST's glass compared to every other one?

    Also i guess prices have risen since this review? Everywhere i check i seem to see the scope for 800$ which brought up the question of spending another 100$ for a PST 4-16 or another 150$ for a 6.5-24. Looking at this for a shorty .308 truck/budget gun.