August 31st, 2017

Vortex 15-60x52mm Golden Eagle Scope Review by James Mock

Vortex Optics Golden Eagle Scope 15-60x52mm review F-Class F-TR

Review by James Mock
If you were charged with building a scope for F-Class or long range Benchrest, what features would you want? Vortex asked that question, received feedback from many competitors, and then set out to build a new high-magnification, zoom comp scope that would set a new “performance for price” standard.

The new Vortex Golden Eagle has features that this shooter really appreciates. It has a power range of 15x to 60x with a 52mm objective lens. Vortex has attempted to keep the weight as low as possible and the cost reasonable. My initial impression is that Vortex spared no expense in developing this scope. The “street price” for this premium scope is a reasonable $1499.00. Plus it has Unconditional Lifetime Warranty. Given its features, performance, and price, I believe that this scope will sell very well.

Vortex Optics Golden Eagle Scope 15-60x52mm review F-Class F-TR

Here are the important features of the new 15-60x52mm Golden Eagle:

Quality Construction

Premium HD, extra-low dispersion glass
APO (apochromatic) objective lens system with index-matched lenses
XRP multi-coated lenses for max light transmission
ArmorTek extra-hard lens coating to protect lens from dust, dirt, and smudges
Fogproof and Waterproof (Argon gas purged)

Specifications

Field of View at 100 yards: 6.3 feet at 15X; 1.7 feet at 60X
Main Tube: One-piece 30mm
Length: 16.1 inches; Weight is 29.7 ounces
Objective Lens: 52mm
Eye Relief: 3.9 inches
Reticles: SCR-1 FCH; ECR-1 MOA

Testing the Golden Eagle

I recently tested a Golden Eagle with the ECR-1 reticle. On this model the Hash Marks subtend 1 MOA at 40X. There is also a fine crosshair reticle (SCR-1) available. Initial tests with the scope were done on June 28th and I was very impressed with what I saw. With a new scope I always shoot the square (box test) to test tracking and amount of movement. I shot the square today after shooting a 5-shot group at 250 yards (my longest available distance). Below is a picture of the box test target that I shot. Yes, shot #5 went through the exact same hole as shot #1.

Vortex Optics Golden Eagle Scope 15-60x52mm review F-Class F-TR

Below is the 250-yard target I shot before doing the box test. To get to the 100-yard target, I clicked down 14 clicks (1/8th MOA) and the scope was spot on. It is really a pleasure to use instruments that do exactly what they are supposed to do. With the Louisiana mirage, I shot this orange/white target at 40X instead of the maximum 60X. I did not have any problem seeing the 6mm bullet holes at 40X. The optics in this scope are to my old eyes are as good as any that I have used (regardless of price).

Vortex Optics Golden Eagle Scope 15-60x52mm review F-Class F-TR

Vortex Optics Golden Eagle Scope 15-60x52mm review F-Class F-TRCompetition Test Success — Golden Eagle Delivers a Win
My next use of this scope was at our monthly 600-yard match on July 15th. It was a typical mid-July day in north Louisiana — very hot and humid with light switching winds. The mirage was terrible, but I managed to squeak out a victory with a 188/5X score out of 200/20X possible. I shot the Golden Eagle at 40X all day and it performed perfectly. No one could see bullet holes today, even with the high powered premium spotting scopes. This is a quality scope and it may be a “lucky” scope in that I did not expect a win with a 6mm Dasher barrel with 2500 or more rounds through it.

Point of Aim Test with Hood Scope Checker
I also tested the Golden Eagle for holding Point of Aim (POA). For this procedure, I used the Hood scope checker (loaned to me by Bart Sauter). To use this, one mounts two scopes side by side. Ideally one scope has proven its ability to hold POA. Here I used a Valdada 36X BR model as my control scope. It has proven over an 8-year period of time to hold its point of aim. I mounted these scopes on my BAT/Leonard 6mm PPC and adjusted each to the same point on the target.

Vortex Optics Golden Eagle Scope 15-60x52mm review F-Class F-TR

As one can see in the above picture, these are big scopes. After the first shot, I noticed that the reticle dot on the Vortex seemed to be about 1/8th MOA to the right of its original position. I stopped to check for ring slippage (which I had experienced in prior tests). There was no apparent slippage, so I checked the parallax and found that there was some parallax correction needed. This was probably the source of the apparent shift in point of aim, but I cannot be sure of that. I fired three more shots (checking after each) and found no shift.

Vortex Optics Golden Eagle Scope 15-60x52mm review F-Class F-TR

After testing for POA shift, I fired the remaining rounds using different aiming points. I fired 5 rounds (upper left) using the Vortex and 3 rounds to the right of those using the Valdada scope.

CONCLUSION — A Very Fine Optic at a Reasonable Price
While testing this Vortex Golden Eagle scope, I developed a real fondness for it. I appreciate its great optics, eye relief and crispness of adjustments. If I thought that this scope did not hold POA, I would use my old Valdada in the 600-yard matches in which I participate. Further testing has shown no tendency to shift point of aim.

If I am allowed to keep this scope until the fall, I am sure that I will be able to see 6mm bullet holes in the white at 600 yards. Seeing those 6mm holes is very difficult, but that is my dream for a premium high-powered scope. During the summer months in north Louisiana, the air is much too “dirty” to spot small holes at 600 yards. By October, there should be some conditions in which one can use the premium optics to see bullet holes in the white at 600.

In summary, let me say that this scope has become one of my all-time favorites because of its bright, clear images and its great reliability. If you are looking for a great long-range scope that is reasonable in cost, try the Golden Eagle from Vortex.– James Mock

Permalink Gear Review, Optics 5 Comments »
August 28th, 2017

Bargain Finder 101: AccurateShooter’s Deals of the Week

Accurateshooter Bargain Finder Deals of Week

At the request of our readers, we provide select “Deals of the Week”. Every Monday morning we offer our Best Bargain selections. Here are some of the best deals on firearms, hardware, reloading components, optics, and shooting accessories. Be aware that sale prices are subject to change, and once clearance inventory is sold, it’s gone for good. You snooze you lose.

1. EuroOptic.com — 12% Off Vortex Scopes, Spotters, LRFs

Eurooptic.com Vortex bargain sale 12% discount

EuroOptic.com is running a special sale this week on a wide selection of Vortex products, including some of the most popular competition scopes, such as the 15-60x52mm Golden Eagle. CLICK HERE to see all the deals. Do your own comparison shopping. You’ll see Eurooptic’s prices are excellent — you can save hundreds on some models. There are over 80 Vortex products on sale, including comp scopes, hunting scopes, tactical scopes, red dots, spotting scopes, and laser rangefinders.

2. Amazon — 34 dB Noise Rating Ear Muffs, $17.45

34dB NRR 32 hearing protection earmuffs

These 34 dB NRR earmuffs provide excellent sound protection without being too heavy and bulky. At at $17.45, they are a great bargain. The lower section of the muff is trimmed for a narrower profile — that helps with rifle and shotgun stocks. The headband is adjustable and has comfortable padding. These Pro For Sho Muffs have earned a 4 1/2 star consumer rating, with over 1,600 Amazon customer reviews. NOTE: These fit pretty tight. If you have a very large hat size you might want a different brand.

3. Lyman — $25.00 Off Top-Selling Products

Lyman rebate mail-in borecam cyclone powder measure, Case Prep Xpress

Rebate Ends August 31, 2017!

With Lyman’s Summer Rebate, you can now get $25.00 Off five of Lyman’s top-selling products: BoreCam, Case Prep Xpress, Gen6 Powder Dispenser, Cyclone Rotary Tumbler, and AutoAdvance Target. With Lyman’s Summer Mail-In Rebate Program, you can earn a $25 rebate per select item bought from any Lyman dealer, online or direct from the Lyman website. Items must be purchased no later than August 31, 2017 to qualify. CLICK HERE for the Rebate Redemption Form.

4. Natchez — Special 5 Reloading Press Kit, $199.99

RCBS Special 5 Reloading Kit

Looking for a great holiday gift for a family member getting started in metallic cartridge reloading? This RCBS Kit has everything a new reloader needs: single-stage press, powder measure, scale, powder trickler, priming tool, cartridge tray, “rocket” chamfer tool, case lube and more. This is an excellent entry-level reloading kit, on sale for just $199.99 at Natchez Shooters Supplies. We like the relatively compact Special 5 press for most reloading duties. Eventually you may want to add an additional, large heavy press, but this will get the job done. For the combined package, with all the tools one needs to hand-load quality ammo — this is a stunningly good deal at $199.99.

5. Amazon — Weaver T-Series 36x40mm Scope, $449.95

Weaver Classic T-Series 36x40mm scope

Benchrest Matches have been won (and many records set) with 36X Weaver T-Series optics. Our friend Boyd Allen observed “You can pay three or four times as much for a scope but not necessarily be more competitive — a 36X front objective Weaver is enough to win with…” The Classic T-Series Weaver has proven to be one of the most reliable high-magnification scopes ever made. The “old-fashioned” adjustable objective works well and the Weaver Micro-Trac turret system delivers precise and repeatable elevation and windage control. You can also save money on rings since the main tube is 1″ diameter. The Weaver T-36 with 1/8 MOA clicks and Target Dot reticle costs $449.95 at Amazon.com with free Prime Shipping.

6. Amazon — RCBS Quick-Change Powder Funnel Kit, $9.99

Amazon RCBS Powder funnel quick kit

This versatile funnel system works with nearly all cartridge types, from 17 Remington up to 500 S&W. Even if you have a fancy metal funnel, it’s worth having one of these RCBS Kits on your reloading bench. The RCBS Quick Change Powder Funnel Kit features five (5) adapters that match case mouth diameter for specific cartridge ranges: 17-20 caliber, 22-264 caliber, 27-284 caliber, 30-375 caliber, 40 caliber and higher. The Funnel Kit includes a handy 4-inch drop tube. Price is $9.99 at Amazon with free shipping on orders over $25 total.

7. American Eagle Pistol Ammo, 25% OFF Manufacturer Rebate

Federal Premium American Eagle handgun pistol ammo ammunition sale rebate 25% off

Rebate Ends August 31, 2017!

Here’s a great Rebate offer from Federal Premium Ammunition. Now through August 31st, you can get 25% OFF the cost of Federal American Eagle brass-cased pistol ammo. We’ve used this ammo in .380 ACP, 9mm Luger, .40 S&W, and .45 ACP and we can say it’s good stuff — very reliable and cleaner that some other less-expensive brands. Midsouth Shooters Supply has qualifying American Eagle Ammo in a variety of calibers: .25 ACP, .380 ACP, 9mm Luger, .38 SPL, .357 SIG, .357 Magnum, 40 S&W, .44 Rem Magnum, .45 ACP. Midsouth’s American Eagle Ammo starts at $13.03 for 50 rounds of 9mm Luger. The 25% OFF Rebate reduces the price to just $9.77 per 50-ct box. CLICK HERE for Rebate Form.

8. CDNN — Smith & Wesson Model 617 10-Shot Revolver, $679.99

This Editor’s first really accurate handgun was a Smith & Wesson model 617 that could easily stack ten shots in a dime at 10 yards. It remains my favorite and most-used handgun, and I will never part with it. What can we say about the model 617? Every serious gun guy should own one. The single-action trigger pull is superb, and the accuracy surpasses most any semi-auto rimfire pistol, except for a few, very, very expensive target pistols. We like the 6″ version for the longer site radius, but the 4″-barrel 617 is also very accurate, and it balances better. CDNN’s $679.99 sale price may seem like a lot of money, but MSRP is $829.00 and most dealers are charging $750.00 or more for a new 6″-barrel 617. Get one — you won’t regret it.

9. Home Depot — 72″ Wood Workbench for $77.62

Folding Wood Work Bench Home Deport Reloading

This patented Home Depot workbench assembles in a few minutes. Simply unfold the legs, pop in the shelf, and you are ready to start your project. Made from Premium 2×4 Hemlock fastened with glue and screws, this workbench is a great value. The bench (72″ wide x 35″ high x 22″ deep) can easily be stored when not in use. NOTE: The wood is unfinished (can be painted or stained).

10. Amazon — 630 1″-Diameter Target Spots, $9.65 Delivered

Amazon target dots discount free shipping sight-in target

We use 1″-diameter Target Spots for sight-in and practice at 100-300 yards. These bright red/orange self-adhesive dots are easy to see. At 100 yards the high-contrast black diamond centers provide precise aiming points. We found this 10-pack of target spots on Amazon at a rock-bottom price. You get 630 total stick-on dots for just $9.65 with FREE Shipping. You can also get 360 Birchwood Casey 1″ dots from Midsouth for just $3.15, but shipping is extra. If you’re already ordering something from Midsouth, you may want to add the dots to your order.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Hot Deals, Optics No Comments »
February 4th, 2016

SHOT Show Optics Reports from the 6.5 Guys

Nightforce March Vortex Youtube Optics

Our nominees for the “Hardest-working Heroes” of SHOT Show 2016 are our friends Ed and Steve, aka the 6.5 Guys. Over the course of four days, this tireless duo completed over FIFTY short videos. They visited dozens of manufacturers, finding the “latest and greatest” rifles, stocks, actions, scopes and other hardware. While in Vegas, the 6.5 Guys managed to visit most of the top-flight optics-makers. Here are videos reviewing products from Nightforce, Vortex, and March. To see 50+ more videos, visit the 6.5 Guys YouTube Channel.

2016 SHOT Show Highlights — OPTICS

Nightforce Optics — New SHV 4-14x50mm (FFP)

The new 4-14x50mm SHV scope from Nightforce is available with either 0.1 Mil or 1/4-MOA clicks, with two reticle choices: MIL-R and MOAR.

Nightforce SHV 4-14x50mm 6.5 Guys Video

Vortex Optics — New Razor 6-24x50mm AMG (FFP)

The new 6-24x50mm Razor HD AMG is a made-in-USA scope with a full 25 MOA of elevation in one turret rotaion. Vortex says this scope rivals anything on the market in its category.

March Optics — 3-24x52mm (FFP)

March’s popular 3-24x52mm scope is offered with either 0.1 Mil or 1/4 MOA clicks. The particular model featured in the video has 0.1 Mil clicks and an illuminated reticle. March Optics USA also offers a remarkable 5-50x56mm scope that can work for everything from short-range practical matches to extreme-long-range shooting. One of our staffers has the 5-50X March and he uses it for both Tac Comps and 1000-yard F-Class matches.

march optics 3-24x53mm 6.5 Guys Video

Permalink - Videos, New Product, Optics No Comments »
January 20th, 2013

Vortex Optics Spotting Scopes and New FFP 2.5-10X for 2013

Having heard many good things about Vortex spotting scopes from our readers and Forum members, on Day 1 of SHOT Show we headed over to the Vortex Optics booth. On display was the entire line-up of Vortex Viper and Razor spotting scopes (both HD and non-HD), with objective diameters ranging from 50mm to 85mm. We know that the 85mm Razor HD has been very popular with our readers, as it offers excellent “bang for the buck”. This spotter runs $1599.00 complete with 20-60 power eyepiece. That’s about half the cost of the big name Euro-brand spotting scopes with comparable objectives. Making the Razor HD even more attractive this year is the availability of a new 18X/23X long-eye-relief eyepiece for Vortex’s flagship spotting scope.

Vortex PSD Viper FFP 2.5-10 scope

For 2013, Vortex has added much-requested 65mm and 50mm models to its Razor HD line of spotting scopes. This is good news for guys who prefer a lighter, more compact spotting scope, or who don’t need the extra light-gathering power of a big 85mm objective. The 65mm and 50mm Vortex Razor HD models should be available by mid-spring 2013, and they will be priced quite a bit lower than their 85mm big brother shown above.

Watch Video to See Vortex Spotting Scopes and NEW 2.5-10X FFP Tactical Scope

Watch Factory Video on Vortex Razor 85mm HD Spotting Scope


After reviewing Vortex’s spotting scopes, we checked out an all-new, compact first focal plane scope from Vortex that we predict will be very popular with three-gun and tactical shooters. The New Vortex Viper PSD 2.5-10x32mm tactical scope features an FFP design. This enables rapid ranging with the provided reticles at all magnification levels. This scope with be offered with mil-based clicks and EBR-1 milrad reticle, or with MOA-based clicks and a EBR-1 reticle with MOA-based subtensions. We were also pleased to learn that Vortex will add a 6-24x50mm model to its Viper HS riflescope line.

Vortex PSD Viper FFP 2.5-10 scope

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May 27th, 2012

Vortex Spotting Scope Promo from Camera Land — $.01 Tripod

Vortex Spotting Scope Viper

Vortex Optics LogoCamera Land’s One-Penny Tripod Promo
Camera Land is offering a Vortex $129.99 Ball-head Tripod for just one penny ($0.01) if you purchase a Vortex spotting scope from the product list below. Cameraland’s marketing team states: “We thought it would be a nice thing to offer a special deal to all those forum members who support us so we came up with a wonderful offer. If you buy any new Vortex Viper Spotter from the list below, for an extra $.01 we’ll include a Vortex Dakota Tripod (PN#-DKA) with a Ball Head.”

Vortex Viper 15-45×65 Spotter (Angled) (Part# VPR-65A)

Vortex Viper 15-45×65 Spotter (Straight) (Part# VPR-65S)

Vortex Viper 20-60×80 Spotter (Angled) (Part# VPR-80A)

Vortex Viper 20-60×80 Spotter (Straight) (Part# VPR-80S)

Vortex Viper HD 15-45×65 Spotter (Angled) (Part# VPR-65A-HD)

Vortex Viper HD 15-45×65 Spotter (Straight) (Part# VPR-65S-HD)

Vortex Viper HD 20-60×80 Spotter (Angled) (Part# VPR-80A-HD)

Vortex Viper HD 20-60×80 Spotter (Straight) (Part# VPR-80S-HD)

Vortex Razor HD 20-60×85 Spotter (Angled) (Part# RZR-A1)

Vortex Razor HD 20-60×85 Spotter (Straight) (Part# RZR-S1)

Get a Tripod for a Penny More
If you purchase a Vortex Viper or Vortex Razor Spotting scope from the about list, Camera Land will include a Vortex Dakota Tripod (PN#-DKA) with a Ball Head for just one penny more. The Dakota ball-head tripod currently sells for $129.99.

Sale tip from EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink Hot Deals, Optics No Comments »
April 27th, 2012

Vortex Extreme — Ultimate Long-Range Shooting Challenge

Registrations are now being accepted for the Vortex Extreme challenge event, to be held at the Spirit Ridge Rifle Golf long range shooting facility in Tremonton, Utah July 20-21, 2012. The first Vortex Extreme was held last July, and it was a big success (though conditions were very hot). If you’re looking for the challenge of long-range precision shooting with real-world hunting scenarios, the Vortex Extreme is your event. The event requires two-person teams to navigate the 7-mile course on foot carrying everything needed to successfully engage targets out to 1,000 yards. Final scores are based on how well each team shoots and how long it takes them to complete the course. Last year, many of the top teams jogged and ran most of the course — this requires fitness and stamina.

Vortex Extreme Challenge

Watch Video from 2011 Inaugural Vortex Extreme

CLICK HERE for detailed Information and to Register for 2012 Vortex Extreme.

Registration will be limited to fifty (50) teams of two. The entry fee is substantial — $500 per team, but this does include overnight lodging in Tremonton, Utah, along with Friday dinner and Saturday breakfast. The winning team takes home $1500 and a trophy. Second place pays $700, and third place wins $500.00. And there are many other prizes from Vortex, Russell Outdoors, and other vendors. If you’re interested, register soon. This event fills up quickly.

Vortex Extreme long range shooting

Course of Fire
Competitors will fire up to 26 shots each. Nearly all shots will be from natural shooting positions adding to the realism of each scenario. Scores will be based on course time and how well each team shoots. Strong legs and lungs recommended.

Recommended Gear
If you can hack it to pack it, you can bring it. Participants must carry everything needed to effectively shoot and complete the course. Each person must carry their own rifle. Other kit can be shared. Essential gear includes: Rifle, ammunition, optics, rangefinder, shooting sticks, backpack, extra water, snacks, sun screen, good footwear, hat, eye protection, hearing protection.

Vortex

Permalink Competition, Hunting/Varminting 1 Comment »
August 8th, 2011

Industry Hotshots Test their Mettle at Vortex Invitational

Last month, Vortex Optics sponsored a new kind of rifle competition that tested competitors’ fitness along with their marksmanship skills. The inaugural Vortex “Extreme Invitational” was held July 16, at the Spirit Ridge Rifle Golf facility near Tremonton, Utah. At most traditional long-range rifle matches, the only hiking required of the shooters is from their vehicles to the firing line, and to the pits if target-pulling duties are required. Vortex has created a new game. At the Extreme Invitational, participants walked, jogged, and sometimes ran over a six-mile course –- all the while knowing a portion of their score was based on how quickly they finished. Strong legs and lungs were a big asset. The event tested long range shooting skills, but it was also was physically challenging (and hot).

Vortex Invitational Utah
Vortex Invitational Utah
Competitors at the start of the match. Christensen Arms Team #1 (top left) ran most of the course.

Demanding Course of Fire Required Position Shooting Skills and Mastery of Angled Shots
At the Extreme Invitational, two-man industry teams vied for honors on a challenging mountain course. Final scores were based on course time and how well each two-man team shot. Shots ranged from 200 to 1200 yards. Each station featured a tough standing, sitting, kneeling or prone shot (no shots from benches). Even highly experienced shooters found the course quite humbling. There were a variety of firearms on the course. Some participants favored the lightest weight rigs possible, while others toted fairly heavy tactical-style rifles with stout barrel contours.

Vortex Invitational Utah
Vortex Invitational Utah

“The goal of the event was to bring industry leaders together for a day of hard-core shooting in a new format that tested physical fitness, long rage marksmanship, team communication and strategy,” said Mark Boardman, Vortex Optics marketing manager. Scenarios mimicked many of the same pressures faced when that big game trophy steps out and you only have precious seconds to find the target, get a range, dial elevation, dope wind and execute a shot — often times with an increased heart rate and breathing heavily. No easy task.”

Wasatch Arms Team Finishes First
In this game, like golf, the lower the score (which factored both time and hits), the higher the finishing position. Wasatch Arms’ team of Kevin Norman and Landon Gines finished in first place with a 39 score. In second place, with a 55 score, was the G7 duo of Todd Sholly and Tyler Scoffield. The Christensen Arms #2 Team (Courtney Crane, Andy Christiansen) scored 62 to finished third . According to Vortex’s Mark Boardman, “Andy Christiansen from Christensen Arms was using one of our new Viper HS LR riflescopes and finished in the top three. He’s a heck of shooter and climbed those hills like a billy goat.”

Vortex Invitational Utah
Starting up the “Hog’s Back”. The course was very challenging, given the hot conditions.

To view more event photos, CLICK HERE to access the Vortex Facebook Photo Album.

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