February 9th, 2021

Riflescope Comparison Reviews and Videos

riflescope optic scope test video comparison review product movie

For a benchrest, F-Class, or ELR competitor, the optic may easily be the most expensive component of the rifle. Even a hunter may spend as much on glass as he/she does on the rifle itself. Because scopes represent such a big investment, it is important to do some research before deciding what to buy.

Unfortunately, it is pretty much impossible to “test drive” a half-dozen or more optics. Thankfully, there are some video reviews on the internet that are, for the most part, helpful. Here we provide five scope comparison tests, with different price points, high to low.

1. Nine Long Range Scopes Compared by Pew Pew Tactical

Pew Pew Tactical (PPT) published lengthy comparison of nine long range scopes. For each model PPT examined clarity, eye relief, reticle design, parallax, and windage/elevation travel. PPT also provides short videos for all the scopes showing the operation of the controls. FULL PPT REVIEW HERE.

riflescope Pew Pew Tactical optic scope test video comparison review product movie

NINE Long Range Scopes Compared
1. Vortex Strike Eagle 4-24×50mm
2. Vortex Viper PST II 5-25×50mm
3. Leupold VX3i LRP 8.5-25×50mm
4. Leupold Mark 5HD 5-25×56mm
5. Burris XTR II 5-25×50mm
6. Steiner PX4i 4-16×56mm
7. EOTech Vudu 5-25×56mm
8. Primary Arms 6-30×56mm
9. Schmidt & Bender PMII 5-25×56mm

2. $1500 Max Price Five-Scope Showdown

This 5-scope comparison test by Armslist Media yielded some surprises. All the scopes in the review retailed for $1500 or less. Most offer 5X at the low end and 20X or 25X at the high end. Three provide a four times zoom ratio, while the SIG Whiskey5 has a five times ratio and the Leupold VX6 has a full six times zoom ratio, with its 3-18X lens. That’s good for varmint hunters who often scan a wide field of view and then zoom in on a critter to make the shot. We think all these scopes offer good value for the money. We add that anyone considering these optics should also look at the Zeiss V4 line which offers outstanding glass at very competitive prices. The Zeiss Conquest V4 6-24x50mm is just $1199.00 at EuroOptic. The Zeiss V4 would be one of our first choices for a SFP varmint scope, no doubt about it.

FIVE $1500 Scopes Compared
1. Leica ER 5-20x50mm
2. Leupold VX6 3-18×50mm
3. Nightforce SHV 5-20×56mm
4. Trijicon TR23 5-20×50mm
5. SIG Sauer Whiskey5 5-25x50mm

3. Five Sub-$1000 Scopes Reviewed by Precision Rifle Network

If you are looking for a moderate-priced optic for a PRS or hunting rifle, consider one of the scopes featured in this comparison review. These all offer 24-25 powder at the high end, plenty of magnification for PRS/NRL matches. This video compares the controls of all five optics, and there are through-the-lens views showing the reticles on each optic. The tester criticized the SIG Tango for “scope shadow” in view, and overly complex labeling on the knobs. He liked the Burris XTR2 saying it “is a well-respected optic in the precision rifle community … it is basically ‘bomb-proof'”, but he felt that Burris glass color fidelity was not on a par with the Vortex or Nightforce. (7:58). NOTE: the Nikon Black FX1000 series has been discontinued so these optics are available now at very attractive prices. Even before the price cut, the reviewer said “Guys, for the money, I’m not sure there’s another scope on the market that can compete with this thing.” (7:12). The 4-16x50mm FX1000 is just $649.99 at EuroOptic.com — a steal. We’ve used the 5-25x50mm FX1000 scope reviewed in this video — it has truly excellent glass, albeit stiff knobs.

FIVE $1000 Scopes Compared
1. Burris XTR2 5-25×50mm
2. Nightforce SHV 4.514x50mm
e. Nikon Black FX1000 6-24×50mm
4. SIG Sauer Tango4 6-24x50mm
5. Vortex Viper PST Gen2 5-25×50mm

4. Best Rimfire Scopes under $200 (.22 Plinkster)

.22 Plinkster is an honest tester who shoots thousands of rimfire rounds every year. So he’s in a good position to review budget-priced scopes designed for rimfire rifles. Because rimfire rifles have a different kind of recoil pulse than centerfire rigs, and because rimfire rifles are often shot rapid fire at plates, with hundreds of rounds fired in an afternoon, you want to find a scope that has been thoroughly tested to ensure long-term durability. Among the dozen scopes he tested, .22 Plinkster favored the Bushnell Rimfire Series: “I’ve used these [Rimfire Series] scopes a lot. These scopes, for the price point… you can’t go wrong.” He also recommended the Vortex Crossfire scope, noting that it had very clear glass and a rock-solid, transferrable lifetime warranty: “Vortex is one of my favorite scope to use, and as a company they really stand behind their products.”

5. Budget Optics for AR-Platform and Defensive Rifles

AR-platform rifles used for 3-Gun matches and home defense purposes don’t need high-magnification optics. Instead you want something that allows rapid target acquisition and has illumination for low-light situations. This video covers three budget-priced AR optics, two one-power Red Dots, and a Primary Arms 1-6x24mm SLx ACSS scope, which is offered in both SFP and FFP versions starting at $389.99 (not $289.99 as stated in video). A similar illuminated scope (with a better warranty), is the Vortex 1-6x24mm Strike Eagle, currently $299.99 on Amazon with BDC3 reticle.

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December 21st, 2019

Vortex Fury HD 5000 Rangefinder Binoculars Field Test

Vortex optics Fury HD 5000 LRF Rangefinder Binocs Binoculars Field Test Review

Vortex Fury HD 5000 LRF Binoculars Review

Field Test by Colton Reid, AccurateShooter Hunting Editor
As a solo backcountry hunter, I try to carry as little weight as possible. Each step is a reminder to bring only the most essential/effective equipment. Each item in my pack must earn its precious backpack real estate. That’s why I favor gear that serves multiple purposes — and binoculars are no exception. In a previous optics review, I field-tested Zeiss Victory RF 10×42 ranging binoculars and the results were beyond expectation — they are outstanding. However, such superior, upper-eschelon ranging optics from Zeiss cost over $3000.00. And Leica Geovid HD-B 3000 ranging binoculars cost around $2500.00.

For those looking for a more affordable option, there are several mid-range binoculars with integrated ranging capability. One popular choice is the Vortex Fury HD 5000 10×42 LRF Binoculars. Priced at around $1200 on Amazon, the Fury HD 5000 is half the price of some European LRF Binoculars. Yet the Fury HD 5000 LRF Binos still combine two optical systems (magnification and laser ranging) into one that is more valuable than the sum of the parts.

Vortex optics Fury HD 5000 LRF Rangefinder Binocs Binoculars Field Test Review

Vortex Fury HD 5000 Look and Feel
The Fury binoculars are compact and relatively light — a modest 2 pounds. They are covered by a rubber armor exterior that feels sturdy enough to survive some hard falls, but is also comfortable to hold. The compact size did offer a challenge in determining how best to place my thumbs (see top photo). The rangefinder controls (Measure, Menu) are easy to access and are distinguishable by the braille-like bumps that cover them. Considering that these buttons are going to be located and pressed without looking at the top of the binoculars each time, it was perhaps a poor design choice to place the raised Vortex logo adjacent to the controls. But after a little practice I was able to quickly locate the measure button when ranging in the field.

The eye cups are comfortable and offer four discrete eye relief positions. The focus and diopter knobs are large and easy to turn but also provide resistance to rotation. Resistance is useful for maintaining the previous positional setting.

Vortex optics Fury HD 5000 LRF Rangefinder Binocs Binoculars Field Test Review

Vortex Fury 5000 — Rangefinding Performance
The Vortex Fury’s rangefinder function, along with its menu, is simple and intuitive. In my humble opinion, simple is better. The display is a red LED projection in the right optic. As noted in another review, the red display can be difficult to distinguish against a tan/brown image, so I used max brightness at all times to ensure display visibility. The display menu covers the core items: distance (line of sight or angle compensated), measurement units (yards/meters), brightness, and the ability to display either the strongest “Best” signal or the “Last Result” to help range objects behind trees or brush. The rangefinder also enables scan mode (continuous ranging) that updates displayed distance every three-quarters of a second as you sweep over the terrain.

In the field, rangefinder performance was good. I could consistently range objects at distances out to around 1500 yards. Beyond that, the rangefinder struggled with hills, trees, and brush. Ranging Longer distances required a rock or something more reflective. I will likely never shoot targets at or beyond 1500 yards, but the ability to range objects at those distances is extremely useful when scouting in the field. I routinely use my rangefinder to measure the distance to my next vantage point or staging area for a stalk, which can be over a mile away.

Optics — How Good is the Glass?
I should first note that it is difficult to quantitatively compare optical systems without objective data from sophisticated scientific measurement systems used in optics labs. Consequently, I must rely on a qualitative comparison with a known reference. In this case I compared the Fury HD against my tried and true Swarovski Habicht porro-prism binoculars.

With that disclaimer, I would rate the Vortex Fury optics as good to very good. In ample daylight, the Fury and Habicht binoculars were comparable. The main difference being that the Fury required a more precise adjustment of the focus knob in order to capture a crisp image. In low light, the Habichts had the advantage. The Fury images appeared slightly darker than the Habichts and the image sharpness in the Fury seemed to degrade more quickly with the fading light.

That may be partially linked to lower light transmission but also to the more sensitive focus knob of the Fury. With that sensitivity it could be difficult to tell which knob position yielded the best image. That being said, I was still able to spot deer with the Furys in low light (see image). What is more, I didn’t have to switch between my binoculars and a rangefinder to determine distance or suffer the reorientation of a different magnification and field of view. That is a huge benefit!

The Verdict
Overall, I was happy with the Vortex Fury’s performance. Both the optics and rangefinder were what I would consider mid-range in terms of performance. But for a street price of about $1200.00, that is a good value. Yes you can do better, but you’ll have to pay more than twice as much. Considering my recommendation is always to buy the best optics you can afford, the Vortex Fury HD 5000 would be a good choice for serious hunters on a budget. These are solidly made. Vortex states the aluminum alloy body is nitrogen-purged, and O-ring sealed to provide a waterproof, fogproof and shockproof product.

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March 8th, 2017

Killer Deal on 1-4x24mm Bushnell Scope for ARs

Bushnell BDC scope .223 AR

The CMP and NRA now allow magnified optics (up to 4.5X max power) in service rifle matches. You can spend thousands on a high-end scope for your AR, but you just might find that a much cheaper optic will do the job. Right now Amazon has a killer deal on Bushnell’s 1-4x24mm riflescope with 0.1 Mil clicks. The Drop-Zone BDC reticle features hold-over points calibrated for .223/5.56 55-62 grain ammo. That’s a bonus for 3-Gun and tactical matches. When shooting heavier, higher-BC bullets in service rifle matches, you’ll still want to click up and zero at your target yardages.

Amazing Deal Now at Amazon.com
Right now at Amazon.com, you can get this 1-4x24mm Bushnell for just $111.99 with free shipping. That’s a steal — this scope sells elsewhere for up to $155.00. And actual scope owners tell us that this very affordable 1-4x24mm Bushnell holds its own vs. competitive optics costing 3-4 times as much. Read the reviews for yourself below …

Reticle
Second Focal Plane, Drop Zone-223 BDC Ballistic Reticle calibrated for 55-62 grain, 223 REM/5.556 loads with aiming points out to 500 yards.

Specifications
Turrets: Target, 0.1 mil click value
Tube Diameter: 30mm
Weight: 16.9 oz.
Length: 9.5″
Eye Relief: 3.5″
Exit Pupil (mm): 13.1 at 1x / 5.2 at 4x
Adj. Range: +50 inches at 100 yards
Finish: Anodized Aluminium Matte

Bushnell BDC scope .223 AR

Here are reviews from actual, verified scope purchasers:

“The scope is solid and the fit and finish is excellent. The BDC reticle is very clear and the scope stays focused when changing the magnification. The glass is very clear and the light transmission is better than my Vortex Viper. The windage and elevation turrets are precise and not mushy. At a local gun store I compared this scope to a much higher-priced M223 Nikon and a Leupold. The clarity was similar and the light transmission was actually better in this [Bushnell] scope. The only noticeable advantage the higher-priced scopes had was they weighed less. The best eye relief for my setup was four inches without any noticeable parallax.” — Dave K.

“Doesn’t have the fanfare of putting a Trijicon on your rail (doesn’t have the associated price tag either) but pound-for-pound I bet this bad boy would last in a head to head against the more expensive names. I’ve used it in snowy and rainy conditions, as well as more favorable and it has proven reliable. Great view, fast acquisition, and a fair price. Highly recommended for any AR build.” — WarriorSeries

“I gave this a 5-Star rating because for the same price you will NOT find a better scope! The build quality is solid, the lens are clear, and after 200 + rounds it stayed true. I mounted mine on a Ruger AR-556 with a Burris AR PEPR 30mm mount. Zeroed in a matter of minutes at 100 yards, then was shooting 200 yards, then 300 yards, and 500 yards with no issues. And props to Bushnell for the reticle in this scope! It worked … and made shooting 500 yards a breeze! If you want a good scope for an excellent price this is the one to buy.” N. Bates

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December 12th, 2016

Vince Eyes an Eagle — Reviews Vortex 15-60x52mm Scope

Golden Eagle 15-60x52mm Vortex Zoom competition scope march 10-60 Nightforce 15-55

Our British friend Vince Bottomley has had a chance to test the new Vortex 15-60x52mm Golden Eagle scope, priced at $1499.00 in the USA. How does this affordable, high-magnification target scope compete with other comp scopes that cost hundreds (or even thousands) more? Very well indeed according to Vince. He says the Golden Eagle can definitely run with other “big name” high-magnification zoom optics designed for F-Class, Benchrest, and Long Range competition. Vince has written a detailed 15-60x52mm Golden Eagle review for Target Shooter Magazine. Shooters looking for a high-magnification zoom optic should definitely read Vince’s review.

CLICK HERE for Full Review of Vortex 15-60x52mm Golden Eagle

Vince notes that the Vortex Golden Eagle offers impressive performance for the price: “The stunning March 10-60 is the current choice of the serious F-TR shooter – this hand-built scope weighing just 25 oz. from the Deon Optical Corporation of Japan is as near to perfection as any long-range competition shooter could wish. There are several other scopes which have also stood up to scrutiny against the March — the 7-42 Leupold and the Nightforce 15-55 Competition for example. So, why are we getting so excited about the Vortex? One reason – the price!

Sensibly, Vortex manages to offer a product which ticks all the boxes but comes in at around two-thirds of [Leupold 7-42, Nightforce 15-55]. Fantastic value for a top-quality Japanese/American scope, especially considering the dollar/pound exchange rate following Brexit.”

Golden Eagle 15-60x52mm Vortex Zoom competition scope march 10-60 Nightforce 15-55

Useful Reticle Design and Innovative Windage Knob
Vince liked the scope’s ECR-1 Reticle which provides true MOA-value hold-off/hold-over stadia (hash marks) at 40X. The Golden Eagle also offers an optional new type of windage knob that provides an increasing value count on both sides of the windage Zero. Vince says this was a smart feature: “The ‘both ways’ windage knob was great. At the end of the shoot, it was easy to know which way to turn it back to zero.”

Should You Buy One?
Here’s how reviewer Vince Bottomley answered that question:

“Well, a high-magnification zoom scope seems to be an F-Class essential, judging from the number of 10-60 March and 15-55 Nightforce scopes in evidence at any GB F-Class League match. If these three scopes were all in the same price-bracket, then the decision in choosing the Vortex 15-60 Golden Eagle would be more difficult but, when the Vortex is only two-thirds the cost of the other two. However, weight-wise, there’s a small penalty – at a tad under 29 oz., the Eagle is 3 oz. heavier than the March but, if you choose your rings carefully, you could pull some of that back.

Finally, Vortex offers probably the best ‘no quibble’ guarantee on the planet and, if you had any wavering doubts about buying a Golden Eagle, that should clinch it.”

UK readers interested in purchasing the Golden Eagle should Contact Osprey Rifles on OspreyRifles.com or e-mail Stuart on stuart@ospreyrifles.com

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