Axeon Optics 4-12x40 rifle scope

 Axeon optics is a newer company with some interesting optic products, but they also make normal scopes. They sent me one of their 4-12x40 scopes for review. Axeon is distributed by Umarex USA. I thought this would be great to try on my .17hmr rifle. So off I went to mount it up.

 I first want to mention that this is a budget scope, so I am comparing it to other budget scopes that I have used. The Axeon has the old standby Plex reticle. I personally think plex style reticles are fine, but I prefer some sort of ranging reticle. The reticle is in the second focal plane, so it stays the same visual size throughout the magnification spectrum. As stated, this is a variable 4-12 power scope with a 40mm objective lens. It also uses a 1” main tube. It does not have a fast focus eyepiece. I tend to set the focus and leave it alone anyhow.

 The Axeon scope does have some decent features. It comes with fully coated “green” optics. The green is the actual color of the coatings. The coating seemed to give really good light transmission through the scope, even at 12 power. Clarity was nice and sharp also. So much so that I could see the little 17 caliber holes at 100yds. Axeon also throws in a set of flip covers, and they aren’t so bad that you want to toss them away. The magnification adjustment knob is also really smooth. This makes it really nice to switch magnification while looking through the scope.

Taken at 4x - Target board is 100yds

Taken at 12x - Target board is 100yds

 For windage and elevation adjustments, Axeon uses capped turrets. The caps screw on and off easily. Underneath the caps are the actual ¼ MOA adjustment knobs. The knobs are plastic, but have a decent grip to them, this made turning the knob easy. Now for the really bad part. The click adjustments are terrible. They can barely be felt. So much so that I couldn’t really tell if I went one click or four. Even with this, the scope held it’s zero every time I used it.

 The rest of the specifications are down below, so I won’t bore you with them here.

 If you are in the market for a budget scope, go at least look at Axeon. If the adjustments were better, it would be a good little scope. It has some decent features. it just needs a little refinement.

Firearms Insider Reviews - 8 Key Points

Claim to Fame:

Inexpensive quality scope

Target Market:

Those wanting an entry level optic

FNBs (Features & Benefits of this product):

  • 4-12 power magnification

  • Plex reticle

  • Multi coated Green optics

  • 40mm Objective lens

  • 1” main tube

  • 13.25 ounces

  • 11.875” in length

  • 3.5”-4” eye relief

  • Field of View - 25f eet @ 4x, 8.3 feet at 12x

  • ¼ moa adjustments

  • 30 moa windage and elevation adjustments

  • Waterproof

  • Shockproof

  • Fogproof

What other aesthetic options or finishes are available?

2-7x32 and 3-9x40

What others are saying?:

Nothing found

Link to other reviews:

None found

Price point:

MSRP = $138.99

Retail =$118.67 on Amazon

I need it now! Availability:

Axeon or Amazon

Our Rating:


  • Large field of view

  • Flip caps included

  • Good light transmission


  • Duplex reticle

  • Non-positive clicks on adjustments

  • Made in China

Score: 6.5 Okay


Favorite Link:   Thor Targets

Warne R.A.M.P. Scope Mount Review

warne1 The Warne R.A.M.P mount is a 1 piece scope mount for AR-15 style rifles, or any rifle that has a picatinny rail and needs a forward mounted optic.  R.A.M.P stands for Rapid Acquisition Multi-Sight Platform. It gets the multi-sight part because besides having built in rings, it also has 2 45degree angled mounts.  These mounts allow you to install a small red dot sight on one of the canted rails.  One could mount Iron sights on these also, but would then need the optional mount for the front sight to attach on.  The RAMP mount comes in three sizes for most needs: 1inch, 30mm, and 34mm.  I have the 1" version, but they are all essentially the same.

The 45 degree mounts are really what sets this mount ahead of its competition.  With the ability to mount something small on either the left or right side of the scope, it will appeal to both left and right hand shooters.  If you decide not to use one side or the other, or neither, the angled mounts are removable with 2 socket head screws on each.  Because of the added mounts, and space to attach the mounts, it is not the lightest mount out on the market.

Another nice feature on the RAMP mount is the 1/2" hex screws on the mounting base.  They are to be torqued to no more than 65in/lbs.  Also a torx style allen wrench is supplied to tighten down the top of the scope rings. There are 2 T-15 torx screws per side and should be tightened in an x pattern.

I really like the RAMP mount.  It puts the scope at the correct height and the proper eye relief.  With the option of adding a small red dot if one desires. The only negative I can see with the mount is the weight, but it is a very sturdy mount.  If you are in the market for this style mount, you cant go wrong with the Warne RAMP.


Firearms Insider Reviews - 8 Key Points

Claim to Fame: 1 piece scope mount with angled side mounts for AR-15 style rifles

Target Market: 3-gun

FNBs (Features & Benefits of this product):

  • 1 piece scope mount
  • Proper eye relief distance on AR pattern rifles
  • Solid aluminum construction
  • 45 degree mounts for red-dot sights
  • Available for just about any scope diameter
  • Lots of color options from boring to flashy

What other aesthetic options or finishes are available? Black, Zombie green, Red, OD green, Dark Earth, and Blue

What others are saying?:

Alex on Amazon 5/5 stars. Best AR mount anywhere.

Bought one of these for my RRA LAR 15 to use with a Leupold Mark AR on top and a Leupold Deltapoint on the side. Got it, opened it, and could not have been more impressed with the build of this mount! Rock solid craftsmanship. Placed it on my AR and it holds tight and sits perfectly. Take it problem. Put it back on....exact return to scope zero. Just bought another one for my RRA LAR-8! Get one, or two, you will not ever want any other mount!

Jkrispies on Brownells 5/5 stars. Great mount for a 45 secondary mount.

A little heavy (even with the side mounts removed) if you're not going to use the 45 degree option, otherwise typical Warne quality, which is the best I've found out there. Only warning I'd give is to do some research before buying this-- will your Mini-Red Dod Sight clear the bell of your primary scope? Ironically, I think the perfect use of this scope with a 45 degree mount would be on a monolithic receiver (think SCAR) and the mount backwards. Height is perfect. If you don't foresee yourself ever using the side mounts, I would recommend going with the Warne SKEL mount, which is the same mount as this minus the extra attachments, thus reducing weight significantly.

Price point:

MSRP = $195.49

Retail = $121.20 on Amazon  $169.99 on Brownells

I need it now! Availability: Amazon and Brownells

Our Rating:


  • Proper eye relief
  • Removable 45 degree angled mounts
  • 1 piece optics mount
  • Multitude of color options
  • Available for 1", 30mm, & 34mm scopes
  • Made in U.S.A.
  • Rugged
  • Returns to zero


  • Heavy
  • No quick detach

Score: 8.50 Great85



Chad's Favorite Link: Albany Rifle and Pistol Club

Bushnell AR 3-12x40 Scope

bushnellarI purchased the Bushnell AR scope because I needed an optic for local 3-gun matches and varmint hunting. The scope had everything I was looking for at a very inexpensive price. I opted to purchase a Bushnell because I have not had any problems with any products that I have used from them. This includes some of their low end scopes and some higher end ones. bushnellbdc

The scope was mounted on my AR in a Warne RAMP mount and it fit perfectly. Once sighted in,  I tried out the BDC reticle with some 55gr ammo. I was only able to try the drop compensators at 200 and 300yds, but they seemed to be accurate enough. The BDC is calibrated for your standard 55gr ammunition, but should also work adequately with 62gr ammo. The BDC reticle is to be zeroed at 100yds and then has dots for 200, 300, 400, & 500 yard drops. The 600 drop mark is where the line gets wider (think duplex reticle). I would have liked it better if Bushnell had put a dot at 600. I use heavier bullets and just plugged them into a ballistic program so that I know what the drops actually are in comparison.

This scope has some nice features. For one, it has resettable target turrets. Once sighted in, you can take the supplied allen wrench, loosen up the screw on the top of the turret, pull the knob up and turn to zero, and push it back down, then tighten up the allen screw. The AR series scopes also have a side parallax adjustment,  which is very nice when adjustment is needed while looking through the scope. I found the scope to be very clear for the price, especially at the lower settings. After adjusting past about 11x it gets a tiny bit blurry around the edges. The eye relief must be more precise at the higher magnification also. The reticle is calibrated at the highest (12x) magnification also, but I didn't have any problems seeing any targets at this magnification.

Now for the things I didn't like about this scope. It is heavy, weighing in at more than 21 ounces. It is definitely noticeable when mounted. The target turret clicks are a little bit mushy. But I really didn't expect any more at this price point. The scope is also long at 12". Not unmanageable, but it could be shorter. The other notable dislike is the small blurriness around the edge at higher magnifications.


Even with the flaws mentioned above, I do like this scope. It has the right features at an excellent price. It can be used with both eyes open down at 3x and can magnify smaller targets at the 12x setting. If you're not concerned about weight, this could be a good scope for your next AR.

Firearms Insider Reviews - 8 Key Points

Claim to Fame: Inexpensive Tactical scope for AR style rifles in .223(5.56)

Target Market: Those looking for a decent inexpensive optic with some higher priced features


  • Drop Zone 223 BDC reticle
  • Side parallax adjustment
  • Reset to zero adjustable target style turrets
  • Second focal plane
  • Fully multi-coated optics
  • Finish: Matte Black
  • 1" tube diameter
  • Length (in / mm): 12 / 305
  • Drop Zone-223 BDC Reticle
  • Field of View (ft@100 yds. / m@100 m): 33/8.5@3x / 11/2.5@12x
  • Adj Range in@100yds/ m@100m: +50 / 1.3
  • Weight (oz. / g): 21.3 / 604
  • Exit Pupil (mm): 13.7@3x / 3.7@12x
  • Eye Relief (in / mm): 3.7 / 95
  • Click Value in@100 yds / mm@100m: 0.25 / 6.95
  • Power / Obj Lens: 3-12x 40mm

What other aesthetic options or finishes are available? None, Comes in Matte Black only.

What others are saying?:

Bryan on Amazon: 4 out of 5 stars

Pretty good scope: Install and zeroing were pretty easy. I bought this and the Millett 1 piece mount sold as a combo here on Amazon. The mount allowed forward offset to improve eye relief on my flat top AR. Eye relief (real world) is around 4 inches. The eyepiece is large and the optics art crisp. Both eyes open works great. Not as crisp as the Nikon I have in the same price range but acceptable. There is both a focus and a parallax adjustment to make sure you get the cross-hairs in sharp focus which is nice. The turrets are a little mushy and don't give good tactile feedback but are acceptable. The zoom has no stops which I don't really like and it's pretty high effort which may be the price for a weather seal on this scope. Adjust zoom requires a firm grip on rifle because even with bipod, you need good leverage to change it. So far, it has held a crisp zero through 40 shots and the MOA system is nice for no shoot ranging. This is a good varmint scope IMHO. If it stays as good as it has been while new, I will be very happy.

CavScoutDM on Brownells: 5 out of 5 stars

Great scope @ Unbelievable price: I mounted this scope on my just finished 24" Long Range AR15 and I couldn't be happier. Repeatable, clear, and the BDC works great with just a little practice. Bushnell hit a home run with this one, I just wish I'd seen the 18X as I would have bought it instead of the 12X. No matter though as I said before they knocked it out of the park with this one!

Price point:

I need it now! Availability: Amazon, Brownells, or your local gun shop.

Our Rating:


  • Side parallax adjustment
  • Target style turrets
  • Reset to zero turrets
  • Good glass clarity at most magnifications


  • Heavy
  • Long length
  • Semi-mushy turret clicks
  • Not super clear at 12x

Score: 7.5 Good75


Chad's favorite link: AR15 Podcast 


EXD Engineering Vertical Reticle Instrument

The EXD Vertical Reticle Instrument is the easiest and most accurate way to square an optic to a gun.

I'm about to share with you one of the most useful tools in my gun drawer. I'm almost certain that unless you already have some sort of trick or technique for mounting an optic squarely level to a firearm, you'll want to pick up one of these for yourself after reading this review.
The EXD Engineering Vertical Reticle Instrument is an adjustable, self-aligning tool that uses V-blocks to square up the scope's objective bell with the barrel, assuming your scope rings are quality and in spec. Once you tighten down the thumb screw to secure the V-blocks (you can use a rubber band to keep it in place if needed) you can use the bubble level to assure the rifle/shotgun/muzzleloader/pistol is resting level with the planet. Then, with the rings loosely tightened so you can rotate the scope in place, you want to look through the glass and make sure the crosshairs themselves are parallel with something thats level - a door frame, a fence post, or a plumb line that uses gravity to create a straight vertical reference. If the reticle is vertically squared and the bubble level in the EXD instrument is between the marks, your scope is aligned with the universe and you can tighten down your rings.
Now I have managed to mount optics on quite a few firearms without the use of such a tool, but the possibility of being skewed and non-level with the bore has always haunted me. Once I'd get the rings slightly tightened and the eye relief in the sweet spot, I'd either take a step back and fiddle with the magnification so I can catch a glimpse of the reticle in the narrow eye-box and just sorta get a feel if it looks square to the action, then double check by scoping something outdoors that I'm relatively sure has straight vertical edge. If the scope had a nice capped elevation turret I would balance an actual level tool on it, but that only would tell me the scope was level with the ground, not level with bore itself. I could spend and hour tinkering with it until it looks right, and it could still be way off.

EXD Vertical Reticle Instrument

For shooting 100-200 yards it may not be worth a second thought, but for ultimate precision especially at longer ranges, a canted crosshair reticle can and will have adverse effects on your scope's windage and elevation adjustments. Many gun stores, smiths, or scope dealers will mount a scope fore you, but really only "eyeball" it or use a reference that may not be all that precise. Hell, I've had someone tell me to just close my eyes, shoulder the rifle, and then whatever canted position the rifle is in my hands is good enough, then half-ass level the windage line and tighten the rings from there. This may be "good enough" for Bubba to bag a backyard buck, but not if you hope to be consistent with your firearm's optic at various ranges.
Yes, there might be some OCD tied into it, but a scope that you've leveled yourself, without paying someone else, really gives you reassurance as well as confidence in your rig (or in some cases, gives you less excuses at the firing line). The beauty is that this tool is so simple, it should work with virtually every firearm you want to mount a scope on, with only a few exceptions. I would strongly recommend buying the EXD Engineering Vertical Reticle Instrument, especially if you own multiple scopes and like to swap them around, or if you're business includes mounting optics for customers.

Firearms Insider Reviews – 8 Key Points

Claim to Fame:  Makes zeroing your scope faster and far more accurate

Target Market:  Scoped Rifle Owners

FNBs (Features & Benefits of this product):

  • Self Align V-blocks
  • Thumb Screw for tightening
  • View Slot
  • Bubble level to ensure scope and bore are square during mounting

What other aesthetic options or finishes are available?: Unfinished Aluminium only

What others are saying?:

"I have mounted numerous rifle scopes and this is the best device for leveling the cross hairs I have found. Actually, it's used to level the rifle and scope, and then plumb the vertical reticle of the scope." User Review

"This tool changes weather a scope is level or not from an opinion to a fact. It's the best tool out there for leveling a scope. On some high power scopes the narrow window can be an issue but it still works." User Review

"This tool is indispensable for quick accurate perfectly level crosshairs. No more excess time fidling with back and forth alignment. If your in the profession you absolutely need this tool, its a money maker." User Review

Price point:

I need it now! Availability:  Available at

Our Rating:


  • Removes the guesswork from mounting a scope and zeroing the reticle
  • Works with almost every firearm platform as long as the scope overlaps a round barrel
  • Compatible with Oval ocular scopes
  • Should work with optics on handguns, muzzleloaders, shotguns, as well as rifles.


  • Barrels with rear iron sights may not work with this tool
  • Leveling the reticle perpendicular requires an outside reference ie: a door frame or plumb line
  • Expensive for what it is...would have been a great additional value if some sort of black string, thumbtack and weight were included

Score: 8.0 Great



Featured FFL:

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

Ryan's Links:

Gun & Gear Review Podcast

Hunter of Design

Burris Predator Quest 4.5-14x42mm Scope

  Burris Predator Quest Scope

What makes one particular scope more suited for hunting predatory animals than other scopes? Its a valid question.  After all, if any given hunting/field scope gives you the ability to hit a deer-sized target at 100 yards, it should be fine for coyotes, right? Well, yes it should. Most hunters will take small game using a rifle/scope setup that is no different then their big game rig or even their range plinker. Any optic could be used for predators, but there are certain unique aspects of this kind of specialized hunting, and a scope can be built around those factors to give an edge to the shooter.

Burris Predator Quest Scope

Predator hunting is a lot different than hunting a 'prey animal' in a few ways. Coyotes and Bobcats have keen senses to spot and stalk their own prey, which makes it very hard to stalk them in return. Typically its either 'spot and shoot' or use a caller/decoy to lure them close enough for a shot from a concealed positon. The opportunity for that shot is extremely shorter and quicker than with any other game because of the clever, skittish nature of these animals. Sometimes the coyote will be running along your perimeter at a brisk pace, at range, and that is the only opportunity it will lend you. Or maybe its a bobcat sitting patiently and statuesque at the end of a windy field, defiant to come any closer. Being a great shot and having plenty of luck is preferred, but having a scope specialized for the conditions is what could mean the difference to not taking a shot out of doubt, or splattering the dirt all around the 'ol Wiley as he high tails it into the next county.

Burris Predator Quest 4.5-14x42mm

The Burris Predator Quest scope is designed to give the predator hunter a better tool for the job. The optic is backed by Les Johnson, a world champion coyote caller who's been on numerous award winning television programs on the Sportsmans Channel. While I'm sure Les is a good hunter and decent shot, his history with scope endorsements is a tad shaky. In short summation, the brand Predator Quest started with Les' first video in 2004, and his first scope endorsement was picked up by Simmons. I have not personally tested one, but from other reviews on various predator hunting forums online, the quality was wanting and many reviewers warned others from wasting their money. Thankfully the power of consumer and industry feedback response led to the Predator Quest line being picked up by Burris Optics.

Burris Predator Quest Scope

Burris Predator Quest Specs

It doesn't take a keen investigator to see that the Burris Predator Quest scope is essentially the Fullfield E1 scope with a snazzy graphic of the Predator Quest logo, optional camouflage finish, and an included ARD (Anti Reflective Device) that screws onto the objective end of the scope to cut down glare that could spook critters. Burris just chooses to not call it the Fullfield E1 - Les Johnson Signature Predator Quest Edition. That is a mouthful after all. Despite the reskinning of an existing product, the Predator Quest scope carries features that lend themselves to predator hunting. Available in 2-7x, 3-9x and 4.5-14x there is enough magnification power variety to suit the sub 100 yard rabbit hunters, the 200 yard max varmint cullers, or the short to long range quick encounters where wind and drop will be the biggest obstacles.

Burris Ballistic Plex E1 Reticle

The Ballistic Plex E1 is Burris' flagship crosshair for hunting riflescopes these days. Its designed to help shooters overcome two of the biggest challenges when shooting long-distance: determining holdover at distance and compensation for wind drift. It is a BDC system (ballistic drop compensation) and the four hash marks on the lower vertical crosshair are calibrated to provide aiming points from 100 to 500 yards for many of the 'most common' hunting cartridges. Becoming more familiar with MOA-EBR style reticles, BDC systems have fallen out of favor in my collection, however I do see their validity when used in the field for lightning-fast compensations, as long as the shooter is confident their exact load of choice will impact where they are expected in relation to the reticle's factory determined 'guesstimation.'

As for compensating for that pesky crosswind that will push most .22 calibers around like child's play, the E1 reticle has cascading dots on either side of each elevation hashmark to give the shooter a left or right holdover mark for a 10mph crosswind. For different angles or speeds of gusts the shooter can split or multiply the distance between the dot and the vertical crosshair. Fortunately the day I went to zero this scope on my Savage 22-250 was quite gusty, however without a meter to accurately read the wind speed my shots at 300 and 500 yards opened up quite a bit. Still on paper, which means on coyote... but the faster velocity of the 22-250 resists the wind better, especially with higher BC projectiles so the points of reference weren't dead-on exact but close enough to walk a few in where I wanted.

While you can't bank on the windage dots to deliver minute of angle results because of variables like fluctuating gust strength, velocity and ballistic coefficients, etc, they do offer another benefit when trying to squeeze in one desperate shot on a fleeing coyote or bobcat. Instead of using your best 'Kentucky Windage' to lead the scrambling varmint, you can use the windage points as point of aim reference. You may only get 1-2 shots before the Songdog reaches a sanctuary, so being able to track and lead the moving target at 200-500 yards with the E1 reticle is definitely alot easier than using a duplex or other traditional crosshair.

The overall fit and finish of the Predator Quest scope was very satisfactory. The Realtree Max 1 Camo finish is very effective (and matched my Savage very well) with matte black turrets and magnification adjustment ring that give it a nice contrast. Adjusting the magnification ring is smooth with a good resistance, the ring itself has scallops for grip texture I found to be positive enough for adjustments in the field. The parallax adjustment was not ideal, being a ring on the 42mm objective bell that was difficult to turn.  Additionally, the camo finish makes it hard to see the yardage marking, while the matte black version had red colored yardages that are easier to read. It makes me want to set it at one setting and not touch it, trying to focus in on an animal means taking your supporting hand and even your head off the stock... this scope would have been so much better if it had a side parallax adjustment turret! Perhaps I'm just spoiled with higher end optics, but being able to adjust parallax without breaking cheek-weld or ready-position seems like a darn good idea for a predator scope, where seconds matter and fumbling fingers mean missed success.

The elevation and windage turrets are pretty decent. Being capped helps prevent shifting from zero during transport/handling/storage. The clicks are 1/4" MOA and have a nice detent that are entirely finger adjustable, and are audible and tangible as well.

Burris Predator Quest Scope

Lastly, the glass quality of the Predator Quest is on par with it's price bracket. The lenses are Index-Matched, and have a Hi-Lume® multi-coating that provide enhanced light transmission in low light environments and glare-resistance. With the addition of the screw-on Anti-Reflection Device, Burris really wanted to be sure no glints of glare from the sun off the objective lens would spook off foxes or coyotes. I like the addition of the ARD, and the fact it is removable. I would be afraid that an errant stick or perhaps careless storage practices would cause the thin honeycombs of the ARD to become damaged fairly easily, so scope caps are probably a wise investment.


Burris Predator Quest Scope

Overall, I am already quite fond of this scope. I was really interested in testing/evaluating it, because it seemed like a good match for my Savage rifle, and also I could find no other reviews on the scope online. The mystery and curiosity finally got me to pull the trigger with my credit card, and I feel like it was a gamble that paid off. Despite the few personal preferences/dislikes I have found, its still a great option for a predator/varmint rifle in .223, 22-250, .243, or other popular calibers suited for small game.

Firearms Insider Reviews – 8 Key Points

Claim to Fame:  World Champion coyote caller Les Johnson and Burris have teamed up to produce a riflescope uniquely designed to take out fast-moving predators.

Target Market:  Varmint Hunters

FNBs (Features & Benefits of this product):

  • Also available in 2-7x35mm and 3-9x40mm at different price points
  • Ballistic Plex E1 reticle: compensate for wind, elevation, moving targets out to 500 yards.
  • First-rate glass
  • Index-Matched Lenses
  • Hi-Lume® multi-coating, glare-resistant
  • Capped Turrets
  • Screw-on Anti-Reflection Device
  • Nitrogen-purged, Waterproof, Shock and Vibration proof
  • Burris Forever Warranty

What other aesthetic options or finishes are available?: Matte Black or Camo (Realtree Max1)

What others are saying?:

 No other reviews found

Price point:

I need it now! Availability:  Readily available online at Brownells or Optics Planet

Our Rating:


  • Elevation and Windage turrets are solid - slight turn resistance and detents for positive adjustments
  • Included ARD (honeycomb) is a nice addition, can slip scope cap over both
  • E1 Reticle is clean and useful for acquiring moving targets and doping for wind


  • Parallax adjustment is difficult - a large ring forward towards objective, really hard to turn and bumps/texture not deep enough for grip. A side knob would have been much more ideal / hold scope back from a more perfect score.
  • Parallax yardage markings are difficult to read with camo finish - easier with matte black version
  • Glass clarity is good, noticeably less bright/clear than other competitors but on par with others in price point.

Score: 7.5 Good



Featured FFL:

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

Ryan's Links:

Gun & Gear Review Podcast

Hunter of Design

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,

"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,

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.

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CCOP USA 1-6X30 Tactical Rifle Scope with Illuminated Reticle Review

1624i_1Allow me to let you into a little industry insider secret. Everyone walking the SHOT show has a shopping list.  It doesn't matter if you are from the media, a retailer, manufacturer, owner or representative, we all walk around the grounds of SHOT with an item in mind we want to checkout/try/asses for the purposes of buying it later.  I’m no different, one of my top items in mind while I was wondering the endless halls of the 2014 SHOT show was a variance 1-4X or 1-6X tactical scope for my favorite AR15.  Don’t get me wrong. ACOGs are great and so are EOTechs but they are very specialized and wonderfully engineered tools that will execute the task they were built for flawlessly while burning a very big hole in your pocket… I was on a task to find a good quality glass that will give me both the CQB red-dot reflex sight capabilities but will also give me some magnification capabilities for the 75-200 yard range where a red dot sight starts to be more of a guess and less of a precision tool.  I could, I suppose, go for an EOTech with a magnifier, but there are 2 things I didn’t like about this combo: first, the logistics of mounting/un-mounting and the need to carry the magnifier somewhere while it’s not mounted was a little too annoying for me. Second was the painful $1000 price tag (on the low end!)  All of the above made the variance scopes very popular recently with the tactical shooting community, particularly the AR15 and AK47 owners.

So, I’ve set a goal to find something good for a sub $300 budget.  Now don’t get me wrong, I checked, felt and drooled over ALL the optics in the 1-4X/1-6X categories. I’ve been to every optics vendor from Sun Optics to NightForce. I checked the offering from Vortex, US Optics, Leupold, and many other vendors I can’t remember their names (so, so many…)  After 3 loooooonnnnnggg days of wondering the grounds, in a dark corner of the basement level, I ran into a small booth of a company called CCOP-USA. A new(ish) Chinese manufacturer that I haven’t seen before that offers all kinds of optics and optics accessories. Tired and disappointed that I couldn't find what I was looking for, I had no big expectations for their product and figured they’d be low quality as most of the other no-name eastern manufacturers I saw so far.

1624i_6Boy was I wrong. First, they had both 1-4x AND 1-6X options. The first thing you notice when you look through the glass is how clear it is and how much light goes through it. This is probably due to the 30mm tube (most other 1-4X optics have a 24mm tube which let less light through.The Illuminated reticle and the big diameter make it feel like a red-dot reflex sight. Having the reticle backed by the black reticle and lines guarantee that even if the battery runs out you can still use the optics (point down for EOTech on this one).  One huge compliment for these guys is that their 1X is the closest 1X I’ve seen in any of these 1-4X/1-6X optics. Including some of the expensive brands!

1624i_3A twist of the ring and you get up to 6X magnification. Considering most “budget” scopes are 3-9X this covers a very good distance.  So, getting one is a little slow (about 7-10 days to get it) but when I got it, I couldn't wait to mount it and head to the range.

I had it mounted on my PS90 with a one piece scope mount that also positioned the optics high enough at my eyes level.


Zeroing was real easy thanks to the “clicks” adjustment mechanism on the scope (which usually only exist on the more expensive scopes).1624i_4

I had it zero at 25 yards and then switched to 50 yards, 75 yards and 100 yards. I had no problem staying on target and hitting every time.  SO, to the question you’re probably asking yourself by now, what’s the cost?  Well, this is one of the coolest thing about this scope. MSRP is only $310 and you can find retail in the $190-$250 range.  I gave this product a score of 8.0.  The only reason I didn’t score it higher is because I don’t have it long enough to testify to its long term usage durability but I promise I’ll have a follow up review in a few months.

I guess SHOT was successful after all…

Firearms Insider Reviews - 8 Key Points

Claim to Fame: Best Bang for your buck in the variance range tactical scopes

Target Market: Tactical shooters / AR15 and AK47 owners that look for a budget aware alternative

FNBs (Features & Benefits of this product):

  • Model: SCP-1624i
  • Magnification: 1X-6X
  • Tube Diameter: 30mm
  • Objective Diameter: 24mm
  • Field of view @100yards: 115-19.2ft
  • Eye Relief: 4.5"-4"  
  • Exit Pupil: 10-4mm  
  • Click Value: 1/2"  
  • Length: 265mm  
  • Weight: 508g
  • Reticle: CQB
  • Illumination: Red / Green
  • W/E: ≥40'  

What other aesthetic options or finishes are available?: Comes with a soft elastic scope cover

What others are saying?: Their eBay store has over 3700 reviews with a positive percentage of 99.7%

Price Point:

MSRP = $310 Retail = $225

I need it now! Availability: CCOP USA 1-6X30 Tactical Rifle Scope is available here.

Our Rating:

+ Easy on the budget + A twofer: you get a CQB sight and a 6X scope in one package + Zero adjustment is easy with no tools required + Shock proof + Water proof + Fog proof + Illuminated reticle + Black reticle marking to backup in case of dead battery

- New/unfamiliar manufacturer with no history or long term reviews. - Shipping could take up to 10-15 business days

Score: 8.0 Great80



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