Vortex Optics Diamondback Second Focal Plane Riflescopes Review

The Diamondback SFP Riflescopes from Vortex have a reputation for being affordable budget scopes. But as with most budget items, are they excellent value for money or just a cheap option?

We will find out in this in-depth Vortex Optics Diamondback Second Focal Plane Riflescopes Review.

Any shooter will tell you that a good riflescope should help you to hunt into any environment. And if you are hunting at mid or long-range distances, you need a scope that’s powerful, reliable, and practical.

So, let’s go through the top features and pros and cons of this highly recommended Vortex Optics’ scope.

vortex optics diamondback second focal plane riflescopes

Who is Vortex Optics?

Vortex Optics is a reliable and reputable manufacturer of optical equipment for hunting, law enforcement, wildlife watching, outdoor pursuits, and shooting sports. Their range of telescopic sights includes riflescopes, binoculars, reflex sights, spotting sights, holographic sights, and other related accessories.

vortex optics diamondback second focal plane

This market-leading American company was originally formed in Middleton, Wisconsin, in 2004. They once had a sister company, Eagle Optics, which specialized in developing innovative optics for birdwatching. But now, it’s the main arm of the company that is still designing and manufacturing some very unique products for hunters and birdwatchers.

Manufacturing optics abroad?

Vortex Optics have an outsourcing policy where some of their models are manufactured outside of America. For instance, the Diamondback Second Focal Plane scope is manufactured in the Philippines. They also produce some of their other models in Japan and China. But the majority of their products are still built and produced in-house in the good old US of A.

Vortex Optics Diamondback Overview

Vortex Optics Diamondback Second Focal Plane Riflescopes
Our rating:4.7 out of 5 stars (4.7 / 5)

This aesthetically pleasing Diamondback rifle scope is a budget model that is loaded with quality features. This is an upgraded version of their Crossover II but is much more cost-effective. Constructed from high-quality aluminum alloy, the build is solid yet lightweight. It’s designed to be highly resistant to recoil, which makes this scope virtually indestructible.

The Diamondback comes equipped with multiple configurations, making it an ideal fit for big game hunting, brush hunting, and slug gun applications. It is waterproof and fog-proof and can be used in extreme hunting conditions.

Compact design, massive magnification…

The optic has a 40mm objective lens and is 12.8 inches in length. Even though this is a relatively small scope in size, it does have an impressive magnification range of 4-12x. The eye relief is 3.1 inches, while the field of view scope at 100 yards is 32.4-11.3 feet.

The multi-coated lenses ensure you get crystal clear images during any part of the day or night. And the fast-focus eyepiece means you can swiftly follow prey with the easy reticle focusing.

Top Features

Now we’ve covered the basic specs of this scope, let’s explore some of its top features, which are similar to what you’d find in a mid to high-range model.


  • Multiple configurations.
  • Fully multi-coated lenses.
  • Durable and rugged construction.
  • Dead-Hold BDC MOA reticle.
  • Fast-focus eyepiece.
  • Excellent magnification.

Multiple Configurations

You get a wide range of configuration options with this beauty that makes it a versatile and adaptable scope. You can use it for a muzzleloader, slug shotguns, varmint, big game, and long-range shooting. The configurations allow you to easily shoot at different ranges without impacting performance and aim.

Fully Multi-Coated Lenses

You will always get quality imaging from dusk to dawn with these fully multi-coated lenses. They ensure clear and bright images in all weather conditions with limited visibility. The low-light performance is also impressive when using these dialectic lenses. The anti-reflective proprietary coatings are used on all air-to-glass surfaces and massively increase light transmission.

vortex optics diamondback second focal plane riflescopes review

Built to last

The durable and rugged construction makes this scope a solid and reliable companion in the wild. The casing is made from military-grade aluminum alloy that can take some serious bumps and knocks without breaking or cracking.

The waterproof design uses O-ring seals to protect the internal components from any damage or moisture, ensuring a long life. Fog-proofing is achieved by using Argon gas purging, which prevents internal fogging. The one-piece unit design with a hard anodized finish adds even more protection and shockproof properties.

Fast Focus Eyepiece

The fast-focus eyepiece with its high-performing reticle focus function makes it very easy to follow your target. This impressive component works in tandem with the glide erector for instant and smooth viewing experiences. It seamlessly moves through the magnification ranges at breakneck speeds. This allows you to view and track your target in the harshest of conditions.

Dead-Hold BDC MOA Reticle

Close to the eyepiece, you will see the second focal plane reticle, which comes equipped with Dead-Hold BDC functionality. SFP reticles aren’t usually found on budget riflescopes in this price range.

The reticle can estimate how much a bullet will drop over a given range without any ballistic calculations. It uses a customized red dot that removes the need to guess the wind corrections and holdovers.

An SFP reticle always stays the same size when you are adjusting your magnification. So it always has the same appearance. This makes the Diamondback the ideal scope if you’re hunting or shooting at different ranges and need to estimate the holdover.

Magnification and Objective Lens

Magnification is usually the most important factor when you’re looking to buy the best riflescope for hunting. This scope has a magnification of 4-12x, which is perfect for zooming in on larger game. The 40mm objective lens is an unusual feature of this model because it’s quite large for a scope of this size. It performs to high levels and produces clear and crisp images.

Specs and Build

At only 21.8oz in weight, this is one of the lightest riflescopes on the market. It’s even light enough to take on long hunting trips when you need to keep weight to a bare minimum. Color-wise, it is only available in matte black but looks sleek and stylish. And the solid one-piece tube design maximizes alignment for unnerving accuracy.

the vortex optics diamondback second focal plane riflescopes review


  • Magnification: 8x
  • Objective Lens Diameter: 42 mm
  • Eye Relief: 17 mm
  • Exit Pupil: 5.3 mm
  • Angular Field of View: 7.5 degrees
  • Linear Field of View: 393 feet at 1000 yards
  • Close Focus: 5 feet
  • Interpapillary Distance: 55-75 mm
  • Height: 5.8 inches
  • Width: 5.1 inches
  • Weight: 21.8 oz.

Vortex Optics Diamondback Second Focal Plane Riflescopes Pros & Cons


  • Good reticle options.
  • Value for money.
  • Solid and lightweight construction.
  • Impressive light transmission.
  • Holds zero well.
  • Waterproof and fog proof.
  • The benefits of the second focal plane.
  • Fast focus for easy tracking.
  • Good for mid and long-range hunting.


  • You need some experience to set up the BDC reticle.
  • No illumination, but it does have superb low light capabilities for the price.

Are You a Fan of Vortex?

Then check out my in-depth reviews of the Vortex Optics Strike Eagle Second Focal Plane Riflescopes, the Vortex Viper PST Gen II Rifle Scope, the Vortex Crossfire II 2-7×32 Riflescope, or the Vortex Diamondback 4-12x40mm Matte Riflescope.

Or how about our reviews of the Best 300 Win Mag Scopes, the Best Air Rifle Scopes, the Best Mini 14 Ranch Rifles, the Best Rimfire Scopes, the Best Scopes for AR15 under 100 Dollars, the Best 308 Rifles Scopes, the Best Deer Hunting Scopes, the Best Scout Scopes or the Best Mil Dot Scopes on the market in 2023.


Should I Buy this Diamondback Riflescope?

Yes, you most definitely should, especially if you are on a tight budget and want quality imaging over mid to long-range distances. Value for money is the hallmark of this model, giving you mid to high-end specifications for low-end prices. In fact, you get more bang for your buck with this Diamondback SFP scope than most of the competition.

The flexibility with its multiple configurations and impressive magnification options are worth the price alone. But it’s important to remember this is not a top-of-the-range model, although it is a very well made and extremely durable riflescope that was developed by one of America’s most popular manufactures of optical equipment and accessories.

Happy and safe shooting.

5/5 - (66 votes)
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About Gary McCloud

Gary is a U.S. ARMY OIF veteran who served in Iraq from 2007 to 2008. He followed in the honored family tradition with his father serving in the U.S. Navy during Vietnam, his brother serving in Afghanistan, and his Grandfather was in the U.S. Army during World War II.

Due to his service, Gary received a VA disability rating of 80%. But he still enjoys writing which allows him a creative outlet where he can express his passion for firearms.

He is currently single, but is "on the lookout!' So watch out all you eligible females; he may have his eye on you...

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