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.
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.
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.
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
"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
I need it now! Availability: Readily available online at Brownells and most sporting goods stores.
- 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 Amazing
For FFL services I choose Promised Land Firearms in Toulon, IL.