Vortex Viper PST GEN II 5-25x50

 Everyone who has looked in to buying optics probably already know the name Vortex. Vortex Optics makes a vast selection of optics for the shooter, hunter, or plinker. Their range in scopes basically goes from beginner to professional. The Viper PST Gen II that they sent me for review is more toward the expert level of user, but still applicable for certain beginners.

 The 5-25x50 Viper PST Gen II First Focal Plane scope has a bunch of features. XD glass and XR coatings are first up. To put it easily into words, these help to make images clearer, sharper, have better color, increase light transmission, and give it some anti-reflectives properties. Since I have no way of checking this, besides my vision, you just get my input. The view through the glass is sharp, at least when it’s sunny, I’ll get to that later. It doesn’t seem to distort any colors. And it has better light transmission than other scopes I have used. The 50mm objective lens and 30mm main tube probably help aid in these qualities also.

Red fiber optic Radius Bar

 This particular scope uses a FFP (first focal plane) MRAD EBR-2C illuminated reticle. Yep, that’s a mouthful. With a FFP reticle, the size of the reticle stays constant, no matter what the magnification is set at. What this does for the shooter is make it possible to measure a target and then figure out the range to the target, if the target size is known, at any magnification. Also with a FFP, if you see that your shot is off, you can adjust accordingly without scaling issues. I really like the MRAD reticle that Vortex uses in this scope. It has nice size markings, but isn’t too busy. It also has a Christmas tree style, for windage and moving target hold offs. I will leave it to Vortex to explain their reticle, here’s a link: MRAD reticle instructions. The MRAD reticle is also illuminated red. The dial for the on/off illumination is on the outside of the adjustable objective knob. It has off positions between every brightness setting. The CR2032 battery is also housed in the turret unit. It is not a daylight visible reticle, more for low light and bad weather. If you are not into MRAD, they have a MOA version also.

 As a lot of the scopes in this class do, the Viper PST gen II has tactical style turrets. These turrets are nice. They have good quality “clicks” to them. The size is not overly large or small. I really liked the style of knurling they machined into them. The knurling made it easy to adjust them with gloved hands and wet hands, so dry hands were even better. The height of them seemed about right also. Since this is an MRAD scope, the adjustments are 0.1 mil/click. There are also 0.1 mil lines on the knobs. Every number on the knob (1,2,3, etc) is 1 full mil of adjustment. On the windage knob, right and left are also marked with a “R” and “L” so you won’t get confused. On the elevation turret, you also have 0.1 mil clicks with numbers for 1 full mil also. A nice feature of the elevation turret is the fiber optic rod at the zero location. Vortex calls this the “Radius Bar”. It gives a visual reference to where the turret is located. To go along with the radius bar, is an updated zero stop adjustment. Vortex went from a shim style to their Razor style zero stop. To adjust the zero stop. First rotate the turret all the way clockwise until a hard stop is felt. Loosen the 3 set screws that hold the zero stop on, pull the knob up and off. Now loosen more set screws on the turret lock. Now shoot and adjust elevation until you are happy with the zero. Now tighten the lock screws, slide the zero stop back on and align the zero/radius bar with the zero mark on the scope body, tighten those set screws, and now the zero stop is adjusted. It is a little confusing on how to adjust the zero stop. I tried to do it after adjusting for a shooting zero. Then I had to go back and do it the way I explained. Even though it isn’t self explanatory to adjust. The zero stop is a huge plus. You never have to worry about where it is adjusted, just turn the knob and it stops at your initial zero.

 The Viper PST can handle the elements. It has the standard waterproof, shockproof, and fogproof that any quality scope should have. I even used this scope in the snow and rain without any problems. As far as scope tracking goes, I only checked it by adjusting the windage and elevation knobs 1 full turn left/ right and up. Shot a round, and then turned them back to their respective zero’s. And shot another round, all the shots after returning to zero, hit where I was aiming. So it returned to zero for me. If you demand more precision than I do, Vortex uses a precision spring and erector systems to help maintain repeatability, so you should be good to go.

250 yards, sunny day, 5x

250 yards, sunny day, 25x

 I shot the viper PST in a variety of conditions. From sunny days to snowing days. I thought the clarity was really nice, until the snow came. When the snow rolled in, a rarity here in Oregon, I purposely took the PST out to see how it performed. At lower magnifications, say 5-10, the clarity was decent. But bump it up to 20-25x and it just didn’t impress me at all (see pictures). I talked with the Vortex guys about this. Them and I concluded that the main reason for the degradation was do to the magnification picking up the rain and snow. Thus magnifying it. I was told it is kind of like looking at a tree. When its on low magnification, the tree looks small. When on a high magnification, the tree is big. Relate this to snow flakes and rain drops, and they get larger also, thus making it harder to see through them and making the image appear not as clear. When in fact it is the clarity that causes one to see the rain and snow. The light transmission was pretty good in the bad weather, so that’s a plus. If you are using the PST for hunting in bad weather, I would say it is good for about 300-400 yds. Anything past that, and I don’t think you could positively ID your target. Another noteworthy drawback is the weight, especially for hunting. The Viper PST weighs in at almost 2 lbs. If using it on a varmint rifle, the weight might not matter to you. Now, if the sun is shining and it is a great day, I think you could see just about anything out to 1000 yds. But alas, this is a target scope, and not really a hunting one.

200 yards, Snowing, 5x

200 yards, Snowing, 25x

385 yards, Snowing, 5x, Illuminated

385 yards, Snowing, 25x, Illuminated

 The Viper PST Gen II is a nice optic. It does have Vortex’s no questions ask warranty, so it breaks, or you break it, they fix it free. I have heard it is the best entry level long range scope. Is it? Maybe, but I would look and see if the features are what you need compared to what you want. Vortex has such a wide variety of scopes, I am sure they make something for just about everyone.


Firearms Insider Reviews - 8 Key Points

Claim to Fame:

Quality long range scope

Target Market:

Tactical and PRS shooters, Long range Hunters and shooters

FNBs (Features & Benefits of this product):

  • 5-25x magnification

  • 50mm objective lens

  • First Focal Plane reticle

  • MRAD EBR-2C illuminated etched reticle

  • 30mm one piece tube

  • Tactical Turrets

  • RZR Zero stop

  • XD Glass

  • XR Coatings

  • Waterproof, Shockproof, & fogproof

  • Fiber Optic Radius bar

  • 16” length

  • 31.2 ounces

  • 3.4” eye relief

  • VIP Warranty

What other aesthetic options or finishes are available?

5-25x50 FFP MOA reticle

5-25x50 SFP

What others are saying?:

The optics are better although slightly behind the razor still 5/5 star on Amazon

I was one of the first ones to get this scope. It is definitely a step up from the first gen. The optics are better although slightly behind the razor still. I find it hard to justify spending nearly double for a slightly better image. Where the razor does stand out is anything passed ~20x magnification, but the viper still is more than clear enough for my needs. The gen 2 finally got rid of the shims for adjusting your zero stop and replaced it with one similar to the razor. It stops right on zero and no more mushiness like with the shims.Illumination is nice and bright and adjustable.

Now I will say that I did have a problem with my first one. I have it mounted on a 338 lapua magnum. After about 200 rounds my parallax adjustment crapped out. The yardage didn't match up anymore and every so often it would shift focus after firing.Sent it back into Vortex, they said there was an internal issue and sent me a brand new one to replace it. Great customer service and quick turnaround! Haven't had any issues since with the replacement!


Link to other reviews:

None found

Price point:

MSRP = $1399.99

Retail = $1099.00 on Amazon

I need it now! Availability:

Amazon or Brownell's

Our Rating:


  • Zero stop

  • MRAD reticle

  • First Focal Plane

  • Illuminated reticle

  • Large knobs

  • Nice adjustment clicks

  • Radius Bar


  • Zero stop adjustment

  • Heavy

Score: 7.50 Good



Favorite Link:   Axelson Tactical

Vortex Viper PST 1-4x24mm Scope

  Vortex Viper PST 1-4 x 24mm

Yet another Vortex optic has snuck itself into my collection, this time its the variable low-power option of the Viper 1-4x24mm. This scope is at home on top of almost any carbine or low to intermediate range rifle. While 4x magnification isn't generally enough for MOA sized groups past 100 yards, this scope is meant for efficiency and speed. Weighing in at 16.2 ounces, this optic isn't the lightweight in it's class... but it's built with the same strength, glass clarity and dependability of the other scopes in the Viper PST line, which is to say very impressive for the price point.

Vortex Viper PST 1-4 x 24mm

For the same cost of a military-grade red dot scope, this Viper gives you the benefit of both a red dot and a low power scope.  The TMCQ (Tactical Milling Close Quarter) MOA (Minute of Angle) reticle is designed for close to mid-range shooting situations, as well as effectively estimating ranges, holdovers, and windage for longer pokes. At short range distances inside of 25 yards I could shoot with both eyes open at the lowest 1x magnification setting, using the reticle's thick circle and illumination with a 10 brightness setting rheostat. One major issue with most red dots or even holographic sights is that under intense bright conditions, the dot/reticle can almost disappear if you aren't in the shade. The Viper has a reticle with a thick 22 MOA circle thats etched onto the glass. I have actually rarely used the illumination as it's not often been needed, however it is useful and well executed. The clicks on the rheostat are very positive, with each step in between brightness settings being an off setting, so its easy to activate the illumination to the last setting used by one click either left or right. The thick circle glows bright and fills the role of a 1x red dot very nicely. At 1x, the distance for eye relief is a generous 4 inches, which again draws comparison to the function of a red dot.

Vortex Viper PST 1-4 x 24mm

At intermediate ranges between 50–175 yards, the extra magnification helps despite being only 4x. Zeroing the optic at 100 yards as opposed to 50 yards will lessen hold over needed at 200 yards, you just have to remember your point of impact will be between 1-2 inches lower than point of aim at closer ranges. While a 1-4x scope would seem underpowered for distances approaching 200 yards and beyond to most shooters, the reticle subtensions on this Viper are set MOA (minutes of angle) and make compensating bullet drop an easy task as long as you understand what your bullet is doing, in terms of velocity and inches of drop.  The lines of the reticle are thin, so if you are not accustomed to fine lines and small numbers, or have 'old, tired eyes' you may find yourself passing this scope over. But the thin width of the lines makes for finer aiming, and hopefully smaller groups on paper. There are 30 minutes worth of holdover dash marks on the reticle for both elevation and windage, which could lend itself to the 5.56 55 grain bullet reach outwards to 600 yards as far as drop is concerned, with plenty of windage marks. A simple brushing up on the MOA system of measurement and getting to know your gun's caliber trajectory will get you the most out of this reticles potential.

Vortex Viper PST 1-4 x 24mm

While this isn't a magical do-it-all scope, the ability to engage targets from 25 yards to 600 yards (depending on caliber/load) is within the realm of possibility for this scope. It's understandable how this scope has become a favorite of competitive shooters when drilling close range cardboard targets one minute and knocking down steel targets at 100+ yards the next. The 30mm tube lets in more light than 1 inch tubes conventionally, and the glass clarity is on par with the rest of the Vortex Viper PST family, which is arguably also equivalent or surpassing of most competitor scopes, certainly those who fall below the price point. You do get what you pay for when shopping for scopes, and a lifetime guarantee and overall quality and longevity you get from a Vortex optic is one of the best bangs you can get for your buck these days.


Firearms Insider Reviews – 8 Key Points

Claim to Fame:  The Viper PST (Precision Shooting Tactical) riflescope boasts features associated with top-tier riflescopes, and delivers the performance and features tactical shooters demand at an economical price.

Target Market:  Range Shooters, Hunters, 3-Gun Competitors

FNBs (Features & Benefits of this product):

  • Extra-low dispersion (XD) glass increases resolution and color fidelity, resulting in crisp, sharp images
  • Proprietary coatings increase light transmission with multiple anti-reflective coatings on all air-to-glass surfaces
  • TMCQ (Tactical Milling Close Quarter) is a hashmarked ranging reticle using MOA-based subtension lines for ranging, holdover, and windage corrections
  • 220 total minutes of adjustment for elevation and windage each
  • Field of View: 98(1x)-27.5(3x) feet at 100 yards
  • Eye relief approx 4 inches.
  • Reticle protected between two layers of glass for optimum durability and reliability
  • Illuminated reticle provides precise aiming under low-light conditions
  • Ultra-hard, scratch-resistant coating protects exterior lenses from scratches, oil and dirt

What other aesthetic options or finishes are available?: Capped and Uncapped versions

What others are saying?:

 "Bolted this baby on my 20" flattop and couldn't be happier! Zeroed in easily and hasn't missed a beat in aprox 1000 rounds. Battery life is good, still on the original. Acquiring sight picture while illuminated is QUICK! Reticle is very fine and clear allowing me shoot 100yd moa groups off the bipod at will. Customer service is stellar at Vortex, friendly folks on the phone. " - Stickman User Review, vortexoptics.com

"The reticle is easy to see and a great size. While the illumination is not visible in daylight, it does provide a contrast in a situation where the crosshairs would otherwise get blacked out. Perfectly illuminated for night time. I love the "CQ" part of the reticle which is, in my humble opinion, better than the solid round EOTech reticle that tends to be "too busy" for my taste. The glass is very clear, and in fact in 1x it's clearer than some red dots I've used! The 1x is a true one 1x. Knobs are easy to grasp, adjust, set markings to zero, re-zero, etc., etc. Clear markings all around including magnification knob. All around, I can't find anything to complain about, and I expect my next scope will be a higher power Vortex PST MOA for my .308 bolt action. Can I give a better endorsement than that?" jkrispies user, brownells.com

Price point:

I need it now! Availability:  Readily available online at Brownells and most sporting goods stores.

Our Rating:


  • Design and Function are a perfect match for a carbine to midlength AR-15 platform, especially in the weight department
  • Glass is very clear for a 24mm objective
  • Eye relief is approx 4 inches
  • Reticle can both serve as a 1x Red Dot or capable of mid range shooting
  • Water/fog/shock proof
  • Nice tactile and well marked turrets
  • CRS Zero stop feature
  • Great Warranty, lifetime no questions asked.


  •  Illumination of center circle/dot of reticle is okay, but does not fully illuminate elevation hashes all the way to 30 MOA on either end, but does illuminate the full width of the windage marks.

Score: 9.0 Amazing90

Featured FFL:

For FFL services I choose Promised Land Firearms in Toulon, IL.

Ryan's Links:

Gun & Gear Review Podcast

Hunter of Design

Vortex Diamondback 4-12x40mm Scope Review

Vortex Diamondback Welcome to Vortex Anonymous, my name is Ryan and I'm an addict. It's been 6 days since I last bought a Vortex scope, and I don't know how long I can resist the urge to buy another. Who wants to be my sponsor?

Its easy to become a Vortex fan after picking up any one of the Viper scopes. For the moderate price tag, you get really clear glass, superb reticles, a plethora of magnification options, and a lifetime/no questions asked warranty that will cover just about anything you can throw at the optic. I already owned two Viper scopes, but was interested in picking up something from the cheaper family, known as the Diamondback series for testing and evaluation.

I picked up a Vortex Diamondback 4-12x40mm scope to add to a 22-250 bolt gun. I bought it as Sportsman's Warehouse for the average retail price. Comparing the glass indoors with other brands in the same category including Nikon Prostaff, Redfield Revenge and some of the low end Leupolds, the Diamondback certainly seemed to be as good in most areas, with an edge over most in glass clarity. The other factors that stand out most are eye relief, light transmission and turret manipulation.

I found that I was doing the 'chicken neck' much more with the other scopes to get proper relief, whereas the Diamondback's eyebox was just easier for me to find rapidly, even at high magnifications. The clarity and light transmission of the glass were very good, and even when holding side-by-side with a Viper scope in the same magnification the difference are very small. The capped turrets are surprisingly pleasing. Rotation is smooth but tight, with lightly audible clicks and fine tangible detents with every 1/4 MOA turn. I boresighted with a laser at night under 2 minutes because throwing the scope up to check the point of aim, then turning the turrets just by feel was accurate and fine. They are slotted for a coin as well but really not needed at all. Once zeroed, they can be rezeroed so that adjustments in the field or at the range for known variables are easy to make and then return to zero.

Vortex Diamondback DBC Reticle

If I were asked to pick the negative aspects of this scope, it would be that at 12x objects beyond 100 yards do come a little fuzzy.  Also, the limitations of factory preset parallax at 100 yds is something I can't help but notice. If you want adjustable parallax, save up those pennies and get a Viper. Also most Vipers come with a sunshade, something you will be hard pressed to find to work with this Diamondback.  But if value and budget are your concern, this scope still has plenty of shining features that will prove its worth in the field time and time again.

Another piece of advice I want to share is the inherent disadvantages of a BDC (Bullet Drop Compensation) reticle.  The Vortex BDC reticle manual groups data in terms of rifle classes that are pretty generalized. For instance, if your caliber fits into Class A (High Power Big Game | Moderate Ranges) you would use 100 yard zero on main crosshair, the 3rd hashmark would apply to 400 yards, or 30 inches of drop.  But for what grain bullet and what velocity?  The bullet drop of a .308 win 150gr bullet and a 180gr bullet in the same gun will have different rates of drop and a BDC reticle doesn't account for this without the user doing multiple tests with different bullet weights and taking detailed notes.  An MOA EBR reticle shows even subtensions in minutes of angle (or MRAD if you prefer mildots, guy in the back of class wearing a boonie hate) and I find it more advantageous for non-seasoned shooters to think in terms of what is bullet X doing at 415 yards in minutes of angle.  Using any number of ballistic calculators available, you could determine to the fraction of an inch where that bullet will drop, and it is much easier to 'mind the gap' between 2 or 5 MOA dash increments and make a more precise shot. That may not matter much when you have a deer in your scope at 100-200 yard, but the difference exponentially grows at longer distances, and I share a belief that BDC reticles give novice shooter a false sense of confidence that can easily translate to bad call and a poor shot. If that error leads to a shot outside the vitals in a game animal, I can't help but wish that individual did their homework better. The V-Plex reticle is Vortex's take on the tradition duplex reticle and would better serve a shooter who is intimately familiar with the lead they are sending downrange than a novice leaning on the BDC without reading up. Just my 2 cents.

Firearms Insider Reviews - 8 Key Points

Claim to Fame: Diamondback riflescopes completely change the rules when it comes to “you get what you pay for.”

Target Market: Rifle owners, hunters, 100-300 yard multicaliber shooting

FNBs (Features & Benefits of this product):

  • Fully Multi-Coated - Increases light transmission with multiple anti-reflective coatings on all air-to-glass surfaces.
  • Second Focal Plane Reticle - Scale of reticle maintains the same ideally-sized appearance. Listed reticle subtensions used for estimating range, holdover and wind drift correction are accurate at the highest magnification.
  • Single-Piece 1" Tube - Maximizes alignment for improved accuracy and optimum visual performance, as well as ensures strength and waterproofness.
  • Aircraft-Grade Aluminum - Constructed from a solid block of aircraft-grade aluminum for strength and rigidity.
  • Waterproof O-ring - Seals prevent moisture, dust and debris from penetrating the riflescope for reliable performance in all environments.
  • Fogproof - Argon gas purging prevents internal fogging over a wide range of temperatures.
  • Shockproof - Rugged construction withstands recoil and impact.
  • Hard Anodized Finish - Highly durable low-glare matte finish helps camouflage the shooter's position.
  • Precision-Glide Erector System - Uses premium components in the zoom lens mechanism to ensure smooth magnification changes under the harshest conditions.
  • Capped Reset Turrets - Allow re-indexing of the turret to zero after sighting in the riflescope. Caps provide external protection for turret.
  • Precision-Glide Erector System - Uses premium components in the zoom lens mechanism to ensure smooth magnification changes under the harshest conditions.
  • Fast Focus Eyepiece - Allows quick and easy reticle focusing.

What other aesthetic options or finishes are available?: Black matte finish, multiple magnification/objective sizes available.

What others are saying?: “This is the second Vortex product I've purchased.  Why? Quality and Confidence.  I love the quality of their optics.  Clear glass, great light control, solid construction but lightweight delivery.  I really like the Deadhold BDC reticle and how once I've got it sighted in.  It's extremely accurate, regardless of the change in distance.  My first time using the scope I made three adjustments with the clearly defined dials (no guessing in the field) and was dialed in on the bullseye.  I also have complete confidence that should something happen to my scope, I will have no problems getting back outdoors and doing what I love.  The only improvement I'd suggest is threading for a sun shade. But no question, I'm happily a Vortex customer for life!" Vortex Reviewer

Price Point:

I need it now! Availability: Readily available online at Brownells.

Our Rating: + Sleek, lightweight, perfect for mounting to a hunting rifle + Capped Turrets with Audible and Tangible windage and elevation adjustment clicks, very smooth and firm + Glass is extremely clear + You can beat the scope (against the concrete) but you won't beat that warrantee!

- BDC Reticle in MOA works for some as a quick reference for hunting, but can still cause false-confidence and poor shot placement due to caliber/velocity variances that have been averaged or generalized. - No sunshade, but Vortex does have a Killflash / ARD out there that should work - Object outlines get fuzzy when using 12x magnification

Score: 8.0 Great


Vortex Strikefire

This review is by Lance Chaar, Instructor at Chaar Tactical


Firearms Insider Reviews - 8 Key Points

Claim to Fame: Shockproof red dot optic, rated for low to high calibers.

Target Market:  Entry level users, novice rifle/AR-15 owners for short distance and close quarters.

FNBs:  (Features and Benefits of this product)

  • Increased light transmission
  • Optic is sealed to prevent moisture & dust
  • Rated for high recoil - factory tests with .375 H&H Magnum for 1000 rounds.
  • Temperature rated from -22 to +140 degree Fahrenheit.
  • Night Vision mode
  • Vortex Warranty

 What other aesthetic options or finishes are available?  black only, comes in red, green, or red/green dot models.

What others are saying? "I think the StrikeFire is a good deal for the price. It never lost zero, was easy to mount and sight in, and the dot never flickered or lost brightness. Do I want my son to use it in Afghanistan? No, that's why the 82nd gave him an M68 CCO. But for the average recreational shooter it's fine. I have enough confidence in it to leave it on our home defense shotgun.  The 2X doubler didn't impress me much, although I can see it's value for some purchasers. I'd rather see Vortex dump the doubler and put the money into better glass. " - AR15.com review - user firedog55

Price point:

I need it now! Availability: Check your local gun stores. Online at www.brownells.com

Our Rating:

+ 4 MOA dot is clear and bright + Ghost ring rear iron sight detachable on 1913 rail (factory installed) + Works well with iron sights (absolute cowitness) - Placement and sensitivity of power button may cause optic to stay on when compressed in a hard case - 2x Magnifier extension causes a "fish-eye" effect and reduced objective width, prefer not to use. - Model purchased only came with one mounting ring option.

Score: 5.5 Mediocre





Works as advertised however overall impression is average.  Looking forward to Gen II version and upgrades to body and control placement.

Vortex Viper PST 2.5-10x32mm FFP

Vortex Viper PST 2.5-10x32mm I must admit, I'm quickly becoming a "Vortex Fanboy."  It's not difficult, when a company puts something out there that takes the market by storm and genuinely gets the community talking.  I hear the same story whenever I ask the guy behind the counter about them:  "I know quite a few guys who, after looking through a Vortex or trying a buddy's, came in and swapped out their Nightforce glass for one."  Now I'm not much of an optics snob, but my collection of glass has seen some nice upgrades in the last year.  Finding out that as I'm willing to spend more on frivolous bolt-ons that don't really make my groups any tighter, a nicer optic will help in leaps and bounds.

Vortex Viper PST 2.5-10x32mm

I had a rifle length AR-15 build that used to host an entry level Leupold VX-1 that was 3-9, but I decided to slap in onto my father's trusty 40 year old winchester deer gun instead.  I had wanted this build to be a range/coyote/3-Gun platform, which is asking alot in the optics department.  I looked at Trijicon ACOGs and the new VCOG, but I felt there wasn't enough versatility with those. There are plenty of 1-4x or 1-6x scopes that could fit that bill, but I like giving my eyes all the help they can get.  Additionally, all those have reticles that are so frackin' tiny, I need a new prescription  just to read the hashmarks.  So one day I popped into a Sportsmans Warehouse and the counter jockey put this vortex in my hands.

Vortex Viper PST 2.5-10x32mmFirst Focal Plane (FFP) was the ticket I was looking for.  A scope that dials down to 2.5x for close range cardboard or fur works well, and the 10x power is just enough for 100-300 yard shooting.  Vortex also offers a 2.5-10x44 cheaper flavor, but without a parallax adjustment or illuminated reticle...  all things I felt were standards I needed, as I've grown accustomed to them on another Viper I have on my bolt rifle.   It's also a nice balanced weight at just over 18 oz and the smaller bell gives alittle more flexibilty in the rings department.  I still had a hell of a time finding 30mm rings high enough to make a flattop rail / A2 buttstock work, but I ended up ordering a Burris PEPR and it fit the bill.

Zeroing at the range: Very enjoyable.  Usually zeroing an optic in can be tedious, frustrating, and pricey on the round count. I did a preliminary laser boresighting the night before, but it was just barely on paper at 50 yards.  A couple rounds of adjustment back at the 100 yard bench and it was right where it needed to be.  I shot a few mags at 2.5x at 20 yards, trying to best simulate competition conditions.  Went well, quickly transitioning to 6-10x on the fly is tough because the magnification ring is snug, which isn't a bad thing.  I threw on a quick lever which made it easier (if Vortex included this in the package, I would be extremely pleased as coughing up another $50-60 for a CNC'd two piece ring is tough to swallow.

The scope does comes with an inspection certificate, CR2032 battery, a bikini scope cover, cleaning cloth, CRS zero stop shims, allen wrench, manuals, and a Vortex pin.  The other Viper scope I own with a 50mm objective came with a sun shade.  I really wish this did as well, but no luck! Maybe I'll pick up a killflash scope cap one of these days.

Firearms Insider Reviews – 8 Key Points

Claim to Fame:  The Viper PST (Precision Shooting Tactical) riflescope boasts features associated with top-tier riflescopes, yet comes in at a street price under the $1,000 mark.  Born from an intimate understanding of riflescope design, forward-thinking engineering, and open ears to a market incredibly vocal about what it wants in a riflescope, the Viper PST series delivers the performance and features tactical shooters demand at an economical price.

Target Market:  Range Shooters, Hunters, 3-Gunners

FNBs (Features & Benefits of this product):

  • Extra-low dispersion (XD) glass increases resolution and color fidelity, resulting in crisp, sharp images.
  • Proprietary coatings increase light transmission with multiple anti-reflective coatings on all air-to-glass surfaces.
  • FIRT FOCAL PLANE: Scale of reticle remains in proportion to the zoomed image. Constant subtensions allow accurate holdover and ranging at all magnifications.
  • Reticle protected between two layers of glass for optimum durability and reliability.
  • Illuminated reticle provides precise aiming under low-light conditions.
  • Ultra-hard, scratch-resistant coating protects exterior lenses from scratches, oil and dirt.

What other aesthetic options or finishes are available?: Black Matte Only

What others are saying?:

"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. "  - Snipers Hide Review

Price point:

  • MSRP = $899.00 full MSRP, $799.00 street price

I need it now! Availability:  Readily available online  at Cabelas. And most outdoor box stores.

Our Rating:

+ Design and Function are match for a rifle length AR-15 platform, especially in the weight department + Glass is very clear, eye relief is approx 4 inches + Standard quality: Water/fog/shock proof + Ability/Confidence to fully use turrets and reset to zero using CRS Zero stop feature + Tactile, Robust turrets and parallax adjustment + FFP gives a nice fine crosshair for more of a quick, close, "reflex" style of engagement at low magnification, easy to read and use to estimate distance at 10x magnification + Fantastic Warranty, lifetime no questions asked.

- Vortex Accessories are very expensive ($50-60 for a rapid lever for magnification ring!!!) - Less accessories for 32mm bell (no shade included)

Score: 9.0 Amazing

I put in extra hours at the salt mine and sold some hardware that had 'sentimental value' to pick this scope up as soon as I could locally.  Would do it again in a heartbeat.